DLRG rescue operations are rarely predictable. This requires a vehicle like the G-Class that can cope with a wide range of challenges.
Three decades of service
Impressive service time.
Fabian Friese has been a member of the DLRG, the German Lifesaving Society, for 21 years. But the G-Class was already there before him. For a whole 30 years, it has provided indispensable help in disaster control for the Rhine rescue station in Voerde. An impressive period of service that shows: the cross-country vehicle from Mercedes-Benz can be relied on in the long term.
Responsibility in action.
His local group is broadly based: from rescue and beginners’ swimming training, to education on water hazards, to active water rescue service. “Prevent drowning” is the mission of the largest voluntary water rescue organisation in the world. Wherever help is needed, the DLRG comes into action. This is also the case in Voerde am Rhein.
Around the clock
Safe in use.
Always at the forefront: the G-Class 290 GD. Most recently, during the flood of the century, which hit Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia particularly hard, the almost 90 hp vehicle was in use around the clock. The high trailer load of the G-Class enables its use as a towing vehicle for the station’s large lifeboats. Added to this is the excellent off-road capability in areas far from paved roads. This allows boats to be lowered into the water on steep embankments, for example. Without the all-wheel drive and differential locks of the G-Class, this would be an impossible undertaking.
On the first evening of the flood disaster itself in July 2021, the boat troop of the DLRG Dinslaken was in action with the G-Class and the flood boat. “We had to rescue people from flooded houses,” says Fabian Friese about the special emergencies that the emergency services were confronted with. “That’s where the great fording depth of the G-Class was invaluable.”
The G-Class has never let us down.
In, on and around the water
A decisive advantage.
Electronics and water don’t get along very well. Since the boat crew is always travelling a lot in, on and around the water, it is a decisive advantage that the G-Class only has a few complex and thus potentially vulnerable electronics installed - also a big plus point when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Therefore, in all the years of water rescue at DLRG Dinslaken, there have been almost no problems with the G-Class, says Fabian Friese happily.
In tireless use
Yet the G-Class 290 GD has a turbulent past. Built in 1992, it was shown at the Ski World Cup as a promotional vehicle. “DLRG Dinslaken then bought the vehicle directly from Mercedes-Benz in 1993,” Fabian Friese reports. Since then, it has been in tireless use as a command vehicle and towing vehicle for the large boats of the Rhine rescue station.
The deputy head of training draws an interesting comparison: “While we have used many different boats over the years, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has always remained loyal to us over all this time. We didn’t have to look for other solutions, it never let us down.” And maybe that’s why the DLRG and the G-Class go so well together: both have an unshakeable sense of responsibility in their genes. While the human helpers ensure the safety of the general public, the G-Class provides the best support for the rescuers’ operations. A matter of honour for both of them.