When INTERSCHUTZ opens its doors in a few days’ time (20–25 June), Hannover will become the international ‘blue light capital’. Brand-new topics, innovations and a broad supporting programme consisting of conferences, competitions, workshops and live training – all this is offered by the world’s leading trade fair for fire brigades, rescue services, civil protection and safety/security.
Against the backdrop of the current geopolitical challenges, the accompanying humanitarian crises and the increasing natural disasters caused by climate change, INTERSCHUTZ provides the urgently needed framework to engage in international discourse and jointly develop solutions to protect human lives. ‘INTERSCHUTZ is more important today than ever before,’ emphasized Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe AG. More than 1,300 exhibitors from over 50 countries are looking forward to seeing their customers at the exhibition. The longest journey, more than 18,000km, was made by an exhibitor from New Zealand. Around 80,000sq.m of exhibition space and thus eight halls, the outdoor area and the Convention Center have been booked for INTERSCHUTZ.
Parallel to INTERSCHUTZ, the German Fire Brigades Association (DFV) is organizing the 29th German Firefighters’ Day, to which the citizens of the city of Hannover and all international exhibition guests are invited. The event will kick off with a ‘Blue Light Mile’ on Sunday in advance of the exhibition in the Hannover city centre.
DFV President Karl-Heinz Banse is also looking forward to INTERSCHUTZ: ‘This is going to be a successful exhibition; indeed, it is going to be a great 29th German Firefighters’ Day! At last, we can meet in person again, discuss technical issues, set the political course, and maintain and expand our national and international network of fire brigades. I’m really looking forward to the big events: Hannover will be the center of the firefighting world from 20–25 June 2022.’
Top themes: digitalization, population protection and sustainability
With the lead theme ‘Teams, Tactics, Technology – Connecting Protection and Rescue’, INTERSCHUTZ makes it clear where the journey is headed in the future. The digitalization of the firefighting and rescue sector is driving innovation and making a significant contribution to enabling emergency services to work even faster, more purposefully and more effectively. Visitors can get an overview of the wide range of solutions.
The first port of call on the subject of digitalization is Hall 16: From the ‘digital twin’ to modern communications and control-centre technology, it is full of innovations. The use of drones for reconnaissance flights, rescue and firefighting robots, the latest 5G applications and digital features on personal protective equipment will also be on display here and in the other halls.
‘Speed, safety and quality are essential criteria for successful firefighting and rescue service operations, said Dirk Aschenbrenner, President of the Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection (vfdb). ‘Today, digitalized processes are already helping to improve operational procedures.’ A look at industry and the economy gives an idea of the possibilities that can be exploited in the future to digitally optimize the emergency response system.
As examples, Mr. Aschenbrenner cited real-time situational awareness or decision-making tools based on artificial intelligence. It is important, he said, to establish an innovation cycle that maps the digitalization process in emergency response from needs assessment to market launch.
In addition to digitalization, INTERSCHUTZ will also focus on other important topics: These include, among other things, civil protection. In times of increasing crisis situations, disaster management organizations are facing challenges as never before. The latest developments in robotics and the prototype of a pontoon boat at the stand of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief show the direction in which civil protection will be heading in the future. The Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, together with numerous partners, will present the pilot project ‘Laboratory Care 5,000’. At the voluntary humanitarian organization Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, rescue missions are simulated via virtual reality, making the new demands on teams visible.
Exciting product innovations also await guests at the exhibition in the area of vehicle technology. Alternative drive systems for emergency vehicles, for example, will play a major role at INTERSCHUTZ in Hannover. The pioneer here is the global Rosenbauer Group, which will be presenting, among other things, the world’s first fully electric turntable ladder at its stand in Hall 27. The Berlin Fire Brigade is also bringing a Rosenbauer fire truck with electric drive to Hannover. In addition, electric vehicles for emergency command or transport of injured persons will be on display at the exhibition.
However, the topic of electric mobility not only provides important impetus against the backdrop of sustainability; the practical challenges and special features of battery fires will also be discussed at the exhibition. After all, the battery of an electric vehicle represents a separate and new source of fire. This, as well as other topics, can be covered in live, hands-on training sessions for emergency personnel at INTERSCHUTZ. The demand for these offerings is high. For example, around 500 participants have registered for the S-GARD SAFETYTOUR.
Six days of excitement and information
INTERSCHUTZ highlights also include the Holmatro Rescue Challenge (Monday to Friday) and the Firefit European Championships (Monday to Saturday), in which the best international firefighters compete against one another. In full gear and with breathing protection, among other things, they will have to climb a 12m-high tower and pull up a fire hose. After the impact machine, participants will run through a short slalom course and then pick up a filled fire hose to extinguish a target fire. In the final sprint, the goal is to rescue an 80kg dummy and carry it to the finish line. It will be interesting to see whether the world record of 1:11 minutes will be broken at INTERSCHUTZ 2022.
Things will also get exciting at the new Hackathon@INTERSCHUTZ – a competition on the topic of civil protection and disaster control (23–25 June). This is about who comes up with the best ideas and strategies to incorporate artificial intelligence into crisis and situation management. One of the highlights will be the opening speech by Ukrainian Fire Brigade General Serhiy Kruk on the second day of the Hackathon, 24 June. Mr. Kruk will also participate in an expert roundtable on civil protection, and will be joined by former Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak and other speakers.
Civil protection will also be the focus of the CP Symposium on 21–22 June. In addition, there are various presentation stages at the stands of partners and exhibitors. The central INTERSCHUTZ Forum in Hall 26 will offer visitors more than 130 presentations where they can join in the discussion. The conference covers all important aspects of the exhibition and focuses on one topic area each day: Preventive fire protection (Monday), Civil protection and disaster management (Tuesday), Forest fires and firefighting (Wednesday), Digitalization (Thursday) and Rescue services (Friday). The conference programme will be broadcast live on the web, giving interested parties who cannot be on site this year the opportunity to follow INTERSCHUTZ live with all its exciting topics.
Digital participation also includes the networking feature, which allows out-of-town visitors to connect digitally with attendees at the exhibition via the INTERSCHUTZ website.
Platform for international exchange and mutual learning
Networking and exchange are also the goal of numerous international firefighting and civil protection delegations. Globe-trotting experts from more than 15 countries, including Australia, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Korea, plan to use INTERSCHUTZ to gain an overview of the industry’s advancements and expand their network. ‘INTERSCHUTZ is the industry’s Number 1 platform for international exchange,’ Mr. Köckler emphasized. He is particularly looking forward to the three Partner Countries France, Italy and the USA, which will be in the spotlight from Tuesday to Thursday. Experts will report on the special features of fire protection, safety and rescue in their countries at the joint country stands and in the stage programme.
Italy, for example, is one of the countries with the highest natural disaster risk. In addition to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, floods and storm surges, the country also frequently has to contend with forest fires – an issue that is increasingly becoming a challenge in Germany as well under the influence of climate change.
Help for Ukraine
In addition to the three Partner Countries, Ukraine will also be in the spotlight at this year’s INTERSCHUTZ. Many fire brigades and aid organizations are doing their best every day, not only in the country but also in neighboring countries where Ukrainian refugees have been sheltering since Russia launched its war. INTERSCHUTZ has launched a fundraising campaign in order to make an active contribution and to support the people in Ukraine, as well as the fire brigades and rescue units based there: ‘We will donate one euro to the good cause for every visitor to INTERSCHUTZ,’ Köckler announced. One hundred per cent of the donations will go to the ‘Firefighters Aid for Ukraine’ fund organized by the German Fire Brigades Association (DFV), and the donation check will be handed over to the responsible persons on Saturday, 25 June within at the DFV Delegates Meeting.
Tickets & COVID policies
Tickets for INTERSCHUTZ can be purchased on the INTERSCHUTZ website (www.interschutz.de) or at the box offices at the entrances (North 1, West 1 and 2, South 1). Day tickets cost 24 euros; concessionary tickets are 19 euros. The season ticket for the entire duration of the fair is 54 euros. Admission is from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. The digital offerings (conference, networking) can be used free of charge.
There are no longer any COVID-related access restrictions to the exhibition grounds. No vaccination status is requested, nor is evidence of a negative COVID test required. In addition, there is no general requirement to wear a mask, but for personal protection, wearing a mask indoors is recommended. The specifications of the respective exhibitors apply at the exhibition stands. Masks are still compulsory on public transport.
INTERSCHUTZ is the world’s leading trade fair for fire brigades, rescue services, civil protection and safety/security. It will be held in Hannover from 20 – 25 June 2022. The event covers the full array of state-of-the-art gear and services needed for firefighting, fire protection, rescue work, civil protection, telecommunications and control centers as well as personal protective equipment. International INTERSCHUTZ events include: CEFE powered by INTERSCHUTZ (1–3 August 2022) in Shanghai, China, ‘AFAC powered by INTERSCHUTZ’ (23–25 August 2022) in Adelaide, Australia and ‘REAS powered by INTERSCHUTZ’ (7–9 October 2022) in Montichiari, Italy.