What challenges do fire departments and rescue services face in the current pandemic situation?

Dirk Aschenbrenner: The most important goals for fire departments and rescue services at all times are the best possible protection of the population and the protection of the health of their own stakeholders. That's why, since the pandemic became known, those responsible have increasingly focused their attention on maintaining operational readiness even under such extreme conditions.

This began, for example, with the reorganization of duty rosters and shifts to prevent chains of infection from being triggered in the event of individual employees becoming infected, thereby jeopardizing readiness for deployment or their own health. But also the disinfection possibilities of vehicles had to be adapted. And many more individual measures were taken. Not to be forgotten is the training in fire protection and rescue services, which of course runs differently in times of pandemic, but still must not be neglected.

The same applies to fire safety education for the population. Here, too, new approaches had to be found. Of course, creativity was and is required. It has become clear that digital networking also plays a major role here.

Why is the vfdb involved in this event?

Aschenbrenner: The vfdb is proud to be the inventor of INTERSCHUTZ, so to speak, and to have accompanied and helped shape its development from the federal exhibition for fire protection and rescue "Der Rote Hahn" (The Red Rooster) in 1953 to today's world-leading trade fair.

As a conceptual partner of Deutsche Messe AG, it is important to us to continue writing this success story. The Community Days, combined with the FireFit Championships, offer the ideal platform for product innovations and smart solutions for the fire department, rescue services and civil protection.

At the same time, however, one year before the long-awaited INTERSCHUTZ 2022, they are an attractive meeting place for the industry. And the vfdb, as the expert network for protection, rescue and safety, can't miss it!

How will the vfdb present itself?

Aschenbrenner: Promoting the scientific and technical development of hazard prevention - that is our main task. That is why we are involved in many research projects, organize specialist conferences, develop fact sheets and position papers in our 14 departments, and contribute our expertise to public and political debates.

We will demonstrate this wide range of tasks with a practical example: The vfdb is a member of the research consortium of the German Rescue Robotics Center (DRZ) in Dortmund, which I have the privilege of chairing. In this project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, mobile robot systems are being researched and developed for civil hazard prevention.

Still very new there is an unusual and so far unique emergency vehicle: a command vehicle that is available for research purposes and exercises for testing robots and drones as well as for special large-scale operations. We would like to show this RobLW, as we call it.

INTERSCHUTZ Community-Days 2021