Beyond the norm
Tobias Risch, fire chief
Tobias Risch is fire chief at Munich’s volunteer fire brigade. While it is a time-consuming hobby, it is one that he enjoys, and also proves useful in his job.
It is three o’clock in the morning when his pager sounds the alarm. The shrill sound of the small device is very effective at getting Tobias Risch up and out of bed; he’s wide awake within a split second and knows exactly what to do. The 25-year-old immediately drives to the appliance room at the Munich Moosach volunteer fire brigade in order to don his firefighting equipment and inform himself about the situation. Luckily, it’s “only” a small fire, and his mission is soon over.
Nights like this are not a rare event for Tobias Risch, who, in “real life,” works as an engineer for occupational safety, fire safety, and environmental protection at Bosch in Munich. Even after a night-time assignment, he’s fit during the day. Risch: “I don’t need a lot of sleep. And, if I do have bags under my eyes after a long night-time assignment, then my colleagues are happy to drink an extra cup of coffee with me.”
Risch completed a bachelor’s degree in Security and Safety Engineering at Furtwangen University and considers that his hobby makes a useful contribution to his job.
“When we are deployed, we are ripped out of our daily lives at a few seconds’ notice, and confronted with any number of scenarios that we have to master. That automatically makes you very solution-oriented and resistant to stress. This, of course, is a great help to me at work,” says Risch. He also says that firefighting training has helped him to broaden his technical knowledge of fire safety.
When he was 14, a friend more or less dragged him along to the fire brigade. The friend soon lost interest, but Risch stayed, and he is still there. He’s also very happy about it: “The fire brigade had a major influence on what I studied and what job I went on to do. Now I can say that it was the right decision.”
As a specialist for occupational safety, fire safety and environmental protection – as well as being a dedicated fireman – the engineer is able to combine his job and his hobby perfectly.