Given current events, the approach to tackling wildland and forest fires is sure to be a hot topic at INTERSCHUTZ in June 2020. "I's time for us to have a rethink. Due to climate change, wildland fires will continue to pose a persistent problem. We need small-scale, flexible and modular solutions that can cover the wide variety of scenarios faced in this line of work," said one participant at the "PHOENIX - wildland firefighting for professionals" event, which was held recently in a newly built firefighting hub in north-west Germany. Companies Carl Henkel, Eschbach, Iconos, Günzburger and optimal Umwelttechnik GmbH were joined at the event by district fire service directors and firefighters from across North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands, as well as members of the GFD, the Germany-wide association for businesses that serve the fire safety sector.

During the event, it became clear that the participant’s call for action had already been heard. Indeed, a network of reputable experts, firefighters and manufacturers has collaborated to develop a modular system dubbed "PHÖNIX" (PHOENIX) that aims to help professional rescue teams fight forest fires. The system is split into different modules dedicated to personal protective equipment, water supply and firefighting that have each been designed to ensure two-person teams can use them quickly and efficiently, even in areas that are difficult to access. Specially developed wheeled containers provide a flexible means of transporting the equipment and can be fitted with an off-road undercarriage, if required. What's more, optional elements can be added to any module in the system to make it suitable for a range of scenarios, including major and industrial fires.