Cramming a hose back into a carrier basket is one of the least favorite tasks of any firefighter. Not only is the whole rigmarole of coiling the loops an uncomfortable process, it also takes a long time to stow away all the hoses correctly. To make life easier for rescue workers, the students at DHBW have developed the FIREWINDER. "The idea for simplifying the task of filling a hose carrier basket occurred to me during my day-to-day routine in the fire service," recalls the head of the FIREWINDER project, Robin Frank. The student, who is part of the voluntary fire service in Graben-Neudorf, knows from personal experience how cumbersome the process is. "The whole tedious act really kills your enthusiasm, particularly when you have to repeat it over and over during exercises. There had to be a way to speed up and simplify the job.”

In the end, Frank joined up with seven fellow students to invent the FIREWINDER, which consists of a baseplate and a comb. The coupling ends of the hose are fixed to the side of the baseplate, and the comb is mechanically pulled down, coiling the hose into loops as it moves. Once the process is complete, the hose is simply removed from the FIREWINDER and laid in the carrying basket. “Our invention significantly speeds up what is otherwise a particularly tedious task,” says Frank. “The new working height is also more ergonomic than the manual alternative. Coiling the hoses is a fun job now!” The FIREWINDER was developed as part of the “Market-oriented product development” study module of the Industrial Engineering course at DHBW. The motto of the innovative teaching and study concept “From the idea to the finished product!” has certainly been put into practice with the FIREWINDER.

DHBW Karlsruhe (76133 Karlsruhe, Germany)