On January 2, 1974 - a good 50 years ago - the country's first joint rescue coordination center went into operation there, thus initiating a success story that was to become groundbreaking.

The professional fire department, German Red Cross, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe, Malteser Hilfsdienst and later also private providers came together under one roof by contract to work together as partners. In practical terms, this meant that the nearest available vehicle could now be used for time-critical operations in particular, as all rescue vehicles could now be accessed centrally at any time.

However, long negotiations were necessary before this came about. The local newspaper "Neue Presse" also campaigned for a joint control center. "Anyone who falls ill in Hanover can experience miracles with blue lights" was one headline at the time, documenting the race for injured people - until an agreement was finally reached.

"Being a pioneer and trailblazer is not always easy. You need to have the courage to put an idea into practice," said Axel von der Ohe, Head of Hanover's Fire Department, at a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the control center. "Improving and strengthening emergency services through cooperation and a joint control center has been a complete success throughout Germany, starting in Hanover. We can be very proud of this achievement."

The Director of the Hanover Fire Department, Christoph Bahlmann, emphasized that the change process must be continued on an ongoing basis. There are already many different approaches in place to meet the ever-increasing demands on the healthcare system and therefore also the providers of the rescue service in a solution-oriented manner. "The approaches for this are multi-layered, whereby digitalization and networking as well as telemedicine can be key points on the way to a Health Control Centre 2030 together with our cooperation partner Region Hannover," said Bahlmann.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, INTERSCHUTZ project manager Bernd Heinold pointed out that control centers will be one of the focus topics at the world's leading trade fair in just under two years' time. "We are particularly pleased that the first control center was created in Hanover, the current home city of INTERSCHUTZ."

According to Heinold, under the title "Artificial intelligence in control centers, situation centers and on the scene", leading representatives from research and industry will show how operations can be made more efficient with the help of intelligent technologies and artificial intelligence, and what the limits are. Artificial intelligence - from early detection and situation assessment to operational coordination and communication - already plays an important role today and will become even more important in the future.

INTERSCHUTZ 2026 will take place in Hanover from June 1 to 6, 2026.