Hanover. Rescuers who literally go through the fire, are in flood operations or go out to a traffic accident in the rescue service – they all depend on their personal protective equipment – PPE – to offer them the greatest possible safety and the best protection. From 20 to 25 June in Hanover, the exhibitors at INTERSCHUTZ will be presenting a wide range of current possibilities in the large PPE subject area up to the aspects of cleaning, decontamination, reusability and disposal. All market-leading companies are on board and present their products and solutions mainly in halls, 12 and 14 to 16.

A glimpse into the past

"Today, the range of personal protective equipment is greater than ever," says Heinz-Peter Brandenberg, district fire chief from Cologne, Germany. "When you think about the past, you can only be astonished. When we were alerted, we moved out in cotton clothes and rubber boots," Brandenberg recalls his first fire brigade operations. That was just about 40 years ago. His memories make the expert pensive, because not only tactics and technology have changed, but also the further development of operational clothing today follows the latest scientific findings: Professional boots instead of rubber boots, robust, heat-resistant protective suits instead of cotton clothing, high-quality helmets and respiratory protection. Also the handling of contaminated protective equipment is different today. For example, the operational clothing is decontaminated within professional processes, and no longer merely cleaned in the home washing machine as it used to be.

Modern PPE offers the best possible protection with the highest possible comfort

INTERSCHUTZ offers a complete overview of the extensive range of modern PPE. Visitors can get individual advice at the manufacturers' booths.

"We are convinced that our 'Active Light' clothing concept offers absolute added value," emphasizes Martin Rost from Ziegler Textil GmbH (hall 15/A12). The aim is to make everyone who wearing our clothes visible and to protect them from accidents. A completely newly developed clothing brand called Z-Protect by Ziegler Textil sets new standards in the field of work protective clothing. The combination of high-visibility weather protection clothing with active lighting is a worldwide innovation.

The Austrian company Texport also sees the best possible protection of the emergency services as its mission and presents an extensive repertoire of protective clothing for a wide variety of requirements. An example: The protective suit "Fire Survivor" is equipped with an integrated rescue system and meets optimal heat protection with easy handling. The trust of firefighters around the globe is achieved through the consistent use of extremely high-quality materials in combination with the best possible workmanship, Texport emphasizes.

HAIX , one of the world's leading manufacturers of functional shoes for fire brigades, police and task forces, is also coming up with interesting news at INTERSCHUTZ. Details may not be revealed in advance. They are supposed to be surprises for visitors (hall 15, H47 and outdoor area R98).

Dräger (hall 27/G46) presents its new portfolio for the fire brigade with numerous highlights. According to the company, these include the Dräger compressed air breather, Dräger HPS SafeGuard firefighter helmet, which is particularly light with only 1.25 kilos, and the Dräger UCF FireVista thermal imaging camera. "At the end of March, we recently launched the Dräger BG ProAir, a new circulatory respirator with overpressure, which was specially developed for longer uses," says a company spokeswoman.

MSA Technologies (hall 14/H20) promises new standards for firefighter helmets with the "Gallet F1XF" model, developed with firefighters from all over the world. "The Gallet F1XF opens up a new dimension of protection, multifunctionality and comfort," says MSA. "Thanks to its configurable design, the Gallet F1XF is perfectly suited for several types of operations, including interior firefighting, outdoor fires, technical operations and rescue operations."

In addition to its vehicles, extinguishing technology, equipment and telematics solutions, Rosenbauer (hall27/B58) will also be presenting state-of-the-art personal protective equipment for the toughest applications.

Health protection does not end when the fire is out

Together with the quality of personal protective equipment, topics such as operational hygiene, disinfection and decontamination have also become increasingly important in recent years. "The manufacturers of personal protective equipment have recognized this," assures Marcus Bätge. He is managing director of the non-profit association “FireCancer” (hall 12/B46), which has set itself the task of promoting and sustainably improving the general health and working conditions of the approximately 1.2 million firefighters throughout Germany. This also includes the recognition that the protection of health does not end when the fire is out.

Bätge appeals to the decision-makers in the municipalities who are responsible for the fire brigades: "Every fireman and rescuer is worth it to get the best possible equipment. The exhibitors at INTERSCHUTZ can provide good decision-making aids." Numerous companies offering solutions for the decontamination and disinfection of protective clothing are therefore also represented, such as Decontex Holding (hall 14/J20) or Deconta (hall 14/J38). Miele (hall 14/L27) will also be showcasing high-quality equipment for the professional cleaning of operational clothing and respirators.

International studies show that the dangers to which emergency services are exposed on a daily basis pose a potential health risk. The hygiene industry meeting point at the stand of the United Services Trade Union (German: ver.di) (hall 12/B78) takes up this topic and provides information on prevention measures, the latest cleaning processes and innovative products and solutions from Tuesday to Friday, 21 to 24 June. In addition, experts report on special topics such as the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) on the disposal of biological impurities. Detailed information on the program will be available online from mid-May.