What does it take to be a rescue worker? How does it differ from your regular office job here at Deutsche Messe?

Jürgen Zappe: There is a fair bit of overlap, actually. Both roles require teamwork, technical expertise, of course, and a fair bit of persistence, especially when it comes to problem solving.

So, are both roles more than just jobs? Are they a true calling?

Jürgen Zappe: To be honest, I think both are a true calling for me. Because I have always had a thing for technology. That’s why I regard both roles as pretty similar.

Why did you join Deutsche Messe's on-site fire brigade?

Jürgen Zappe: When I lived in Wunstorf there were three clubs: a sports club, a gun club and a volunteer fire brigade. I was a member of all three and particularly enjoyed being part of the volunteer fire brigade. So, when I started working at Deutsche Messe after I graduated from university, I immediately joined the on-site fire brigade. It seemed the natural thing to do.

Do volunteer firefighters have special responsibilities as role models? Do you see yourself as a role model?

Jürgen Zappe: That's hard to say. I don't regard myself as a role model in the sense that everything I do should be emulated. It's more about a person's attitude – about a person’s willingness to do something that serves the greater good, not just one's personal interests. Helping others is surely a cause that is worth emulating. It's certainly an attitude I would like to see in others, but I don't think it's something that can be brought about by my actions alone.

Are you always on stand-by?

Jürgen Zappe: Well, "always at the ready" is our watchword, and we are fully committed to that. But I still have a private life of course, and I don't spend it dreaming about fire engines. It’s ok to switch off sometimes, as long as one remains vigilant and aware that something can happen at any time.