Five questions for Dieter Siegel, CEO of Rosenbauer International AG
At Interschutz 2022, Rosenbauer will once again demonstrate its expertise as a systems provider and bring megatrends such as networking, alternative drives, and sustainability to life. We interviewed the CEO of Rosenbauer International AG for you.5 May 2022
In your 2021 Annual Report, it says that Rosenbauer is striving not only to be the innovation and technology leader, but also the leader on issues in the firefighting industry? Which issues do you mean exactly and why these?
Dieter Siegel: When we talk about leadership on issues, or 'topic management' as we call it internally, we are talking about comprehensive expertise that is as holistic as possible on a highly complex issue that is becoming increasingly challenging for fire departments.
Take a wildfire as an example: While we can provide emergency response organizations with all the products they need for wildland fire fighting, from all-terrain fire trucks to swap tank systems for aircraft, we also know that preventative measures would be far more effective in minimizing the catastrophic effects of wildfires on the climate. That is why we are deliberately going a step further in topic management and are now also developing the know-how for the early detection of wildfires.
We also know that we need to address not only fire departments with such systems, but many other institutions, and we are therefore positioning ourselves more broadly. No matter who is involved on the issue of wildfires and what the issue is in detail, you will find a qualified contact person at Rosenbauer. The same applies to electromobility and digitalization, which, along with the issue of wildfires, are our main focuses at this time.
What opportunities do you see as a result of the digital transformation of the fire service?
Dieter Siegel: On the one hand, we see this development as an opportunity to better network fire departments and emergency response organizations. On the other hand, in the future there will be an opportunity for fire departments to access data from the smart city in order to be able to plan and carry out their deployments even better. In addition, digitally upgraded products, assistance systems, drones, and robots will make life much easier.
Rosenbauer exemplifies the electrification of firefighting technology like no other company. Yet there are also many doubters and skeptics on the user side? How do you deal with these?
Dieter Siegel: Electrification will not be the same across the board. In metropolitan areas that already have clear objectives for achieving CO2 neutrality, city fleets will need to be electrified to meet the targets. The same goes for the fire departments. Airports and industrial companies with similar projects and manageable fleets will also switch quickly.
Voluntary fire departments in rural areas, on the other hand, will continue to use classic vehicles for a long time to come, but will probably already operate the smoke evacuation fan or the submersible pump electrically in order to produce fewer emissions at the scene and to better protect the health of the emergency crews.
Rosenbauer is also very active in research. What are your top priorities?
Dieter Siegel: In particular, we are researching the above-mentioned topics. When it comes to wildfires, for example, we are currently working intensively on monitoring systems based on satellite data to identify areas that may be vulnerable to fire. In the field of electromobility, our attention is currently focused on the driveline and the charging infrastructure.
We are also thinking about alternative fuels and energy sources in firefighting operations. As far as digitalization is concerned, we recently made the drone suitable for use by firefighters, we are currently working on the sensory expansion of our robots and the integration of a wide variety of data sources in our operations management system, to name just a few projects.
What can we expect from Rosenbauer at INTERSCHUTZ 2022?
Dieter Siegel: We will present ourselves as a full-service provider for fire departments and will bring innovations from all product areas to the trade fair. In addition, we will demonstrate our system expertise in the key areas mentioned and conduct a broad dialogue with our guests.
One of the highlights will certainly be our "Electric Urban Fire Station," where we will be showing other electric vehicles in addition to the RT. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to prepare for the most important event in the firefighting industry for us.
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