INTERSCHUTZ 2022–Successful "Teams, Tactics, Technology” Restart

5 Jul 2022

INTERSCHUTZ 2022 signified the successful restart of the civil protection industry. It was held between 20.06.2022 and 25.06.2022 as a hybrid event with diverse highlights in Messe Hannover. The event received 85,000 visitors from 61 countries and over 1,300 exhibitors from more than 50 nations. Participants, including the partner organisations, expressed great joy and satisfaction with their attendance. This was due to contributors, such as high levels of participant internationality.

INTERSCHUTZ 2022 was held in Messe Hannover as a hybrid event. The event comprised a face-to-face trade fair complemented by a digital platform. The virtual service included services such as presenting wares and watching live-stream presentations. Messe Hannover did not feature Covid-19 safety measures, such as the 3G entry policy. This was due to the country removing its related national regulations in April 2022.

The 2022 edition of INTERSCHUTZ presented three central themes. These were digitalisation, sustainability, and population protection. The motto ”Teams, Tactics, Technology – Connecting Protection and Rescue” summarised the chief topics. INTERSCHUTZ 2022 presented each primary subject through a variety of means. Examples included the exhibition and the Interschutz Forum.

INTERSCHUTZ 2022 featured a highly diverse and interactive support programme. This was one of the main contributors to the success of the edition. The highlights of the event were:

  • The Holmatro Rescue Challenge
  • The FireFit European Championships
  • The CP Symposium
  • The exposition
  • The Vintage Car Parade
  • The 29th German Fire Services Day/29th German Firefighters Day
  • The three Partner Country Days

Additionally, the event debuted many new sub-events. These were:

  • The Smart Public Safety Hub
  • The Future Trends in Public Safety
  • The new Hybrid Demonstration Area
  • The INTERSCHUTZ Digital Conference
  • Hackathon@INTERSCHUTZ

The S-GARD SAFETYTOUR was one of the trade fair’s leading highlights. It once again enabled attendees to improve their special firefighting techniques. For the task, they could take part in the sub-event. It featured a spacious live training course in the outdoor area outside hall 26. The participants had to perform a variety of exercises in realistic conditions. They enabled participants to be ready for emergencies. The tasks were distributed into two sections – morning and afternoon.

The morning ones were dedicated to firefighting, such as extinguishing a burning tank car. Another example was ensuring a slippery road under challenging conditions. During the tasks, attendees had to wear special protective equipment to avoid contamination. They also had to navigate impressive visual obstructions created using practice foam. The afternoon tasks focused on technical and practice-oriented help. Examples included aiding when a motor vehicle, including an electric one, has crashed. They also included the safe transport of a patient to a clinic. Approximately 500 participants took part in the sub-event, each receiving confirmation of participation.

Similar in intent were the Holmatro Rescue Challenge and the FireFit European Championships. Each enabled firefighters to hone their skills by participating in simulated situations. Such as climbing up flights of stairs in full gear while pulling a fire hose. A series of challenges were part of the international competition sub-events. The Holmatro Rescue Challenge took place from 20.06.2022 to 24.06.2022. The Firefire European Championships were held between 20.06.2022 and 25.06.2022.

The Holmatro Rescue Challenge featured twenty teams from over ten countries. They competed in a realistic rescue scenario using the novel Pentheon tools. This includes salvaging an injured “patient” from a modern BMW vehicle. The precise situation remained confidential until the beginning of the competition. For 2022, it featured an automobile accident where one driver collided with another. This had resulted in one vehicle landing on its roof, with the other trapping it. Before each trial, the teams received training from the organiser company, Holmatro. The teams represented:

  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • France
  • Romania
  • Italy
  • Hungary
  • Spain
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • the UK
  • Chile
  • the Netherlands
  • Canada

A professional jury accessed each team, with three winners being selected. The categories were Best Overall Team, Best Technical Team, and Best Team Spirit. The winners, apart from recognition, also received Holmatro rescue tool sets worth 50,000 euros. On 24.06.2022, the award ceremony took place. The winners were:

  • Best Team Spirit – the Octava Bomberos Santiago from Chile
  • Best Overall Team – Consorcio Bomberos Valencia from Spain
  • Best Technical Team – Brandweer Rotterdam Frobenstraat from the Netherlands

The FireFit European Championships also enabled attendees to gain recognition and hone skills. They were featured on all six days between 9 am and 5 pm in a specialised outdoor area. During the first four days, participants took part in the qualifications. The finals of the Championships took place between 24.06.2022 and 25.06.2022. The sub-event featured three categories: individual, relay, and tandem. Competitors had to complete five tasks in the briefest amount of time. The first included climbing up a twelve-metre HAIX tower with a fire hose on the shoulders. They had to perform the task in full gear and with respiratory protection in place. Then, they had to pull up another hose before swinging a hammer at an impact machine. Following this step was a brief slalom course. Afterwards, they had to pick up another hose to extinguish a fire. Completing the challenge was rescuing an 80-kg mannequin by pulling it to the finish. Among the winners was Poland’s national team. They ranked in first place in the relay category and set a new European record of 1:03.26.

29th German Fire Services/Firefighters Day was also among the highlights of INTERSCHUTZ. It was organised by:

  • The German Fire Services Association
  • The Federal State of Lower Saxony
  • The Lower Saxony Fire Services Association
  • The city of Hannover
  • The Hannover Fire-brigade Service

It aided visitors in learning about the various aspects of fire-fighting. The highlights featured in the programme were:

  • Day of the fire department (21.06.2022)
  • The joint exhibition stand (20.06.2022–25.06.2022)

The joint exhibition stand featured the maxim “Safety.Life” and was presented on approximately 750 m2 of space in Hall 27 at stand D38. The Day of the Fire Department featured a diverse range of micro-events:

  • Show VGH Fire Protection Mobile
  • Fire fighting attack by the youth fire brigade
  • Demonstration height rescuers
  • Fire brigade music, regional orchestra
  • VGH Fire Protection Mobile

INTERSCHUTZ 2022 featured several novel additions. Among them was Hall 16, which was a dedicated hall for digitalisation. It was the presentation stage for companies and research institutions. They presented digital networking solutions, including a rescue robot. It was displayed by the Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection. Hall 16 was also the event stage for another novel addition. This was the Smart Public Safety Hub. It was where companies networked and presented joint interdisciplinary application scenarios. Such included the usage of drones to assess emergencies. Similar in intent and format was another new sub-event. It was known as the Special Show “Future Trends in Public Safety”. It examined the future organisational, social and technological civil security megatrends. INTERSCHUTZ’s demonstration grounds also featured a novel alternation. The area was held in a hybrid format and allowed attendees to experience various scenarios. Such include daily disaster scenarios and current or conceivable catastrophes. Another novel addition to the support programme was the INTERSCHUTZ Digital Conference. It was held between 21.06.2022 and 23.06.2022. It discussed main industry topics, such as emergency vehicle electrification. The new sub-event debuted at the Media Factory as a live-stream conference held in English.

One of the novel additions was the Hackathon@INTERSCHUTZ. It was a competition that was held between 23.06.2022 and 25.06.2022. Various competitors presented crisis and situation management AI-incorporation ideas. The Hackathon was initiated by the research projects SPELL and PAIRS. The competitors included hackers from all countries, age groups and professions. They competed by hacking various challenges for 40 hours in hall 19. Supporting them were numerous coaches. Competitors could earn prizes of up to 5,000 Euro.

The CP Symposium and INTERSCHUTZ Forum were among the lead highlights of the trade fair. The CP Symposium focused on civil protection and extreme weather conditions. It was held between 21.06.2022 and 22.06.2022. Executives from authorities, fire brigades, and safety task-related or aid organisations attended it. They discussed the latest prevention innovations, scenarios, and strategies during the sub-event. The CP Symposium’s programme included sessions such as:

  • Switzerland's civil defence
  • Is there a grey area in disaster management?
  • Domestic auxiliary aid
  • Protection of first responders during chemical hazard scenarios
  • Water scarcity and droughts: developments, affected areas, and action alternatives
  • Vegetation and forest fires
  • The findings from THW's heavy rain operations in 2021
  • Using drones during scenarios caused by extreme weather conditions

The INTERSCHUTZ Forum was in hall 26. It featured over 130 presentation sessions. It focused on all essential aspects of the event, each serving as the topic area for a specific day. The Forum took place between 20.06.2022 and 25.06.2022. The theme days were:

  • Preventative Fire Protection (20.06.2022)
  • Civil protection/Disaster Management (21.06.2022)
  • Forest Fire/Fire Brigade (22.06.2022)
  • Digitalisation (23.06.2022)
  • Rescue Services/Community Topics (24.06.2022)
  • Brand Ambassadors/Social Media (25.06.2022)

Like many sub-events of the support programme, the Forum took place in a hybrid format. This enabled interested participants to take part remotely or in person. The Forum once again gathered the community in one location. It featured attendees such as suppliers, end users, scientists and political representatives. They discussed and learned about the latest industry topics. This included challenges, solutions, innovations, and opportunities. They debated the subjects during keynotes, panel discussions, partner sessions and talks. The sessions featured simultaneous translation from English to German and vice versa. Among the highlights of the INTERSCHUTZ Forum programme were:

  • BIM and GIS as Transformational Drivers in Public Safety
  • The advantages of installing high-pressure water mist fire suppression systems in tall structures
  • Using new media as part of the vocational training
  • Special fire protection for cultural properties
  • The Fire Service of today is diverse
  • Digital firefighter training
  • Tactical firefighting principles for road and railway tunnels
  • Collaboration of emergency teams via geoportals
  • Automated drones for the provision of real-time situation reports
  • The importance of preventive firefighter mental health strengthening
  • Marketing and media relations in civil defence
  • Using Machine Learning to Gain Intelligence from Unstructured Data
  • Protecting the Environment by Using Recycled Textiles for PPE

As with previous renditions, INTERSCHUTZ 2022 featured three Partner Countries. For the restart edition, these were the nations of France, Italy, and the USA. It presented each of these as a highlighted country between 21.06.2022 and 24.06.2022. Each nation displayed its special fire protection, safety and rescue features. This was achieved via joint exhibition stands and educational sessions.

France, for instance, featured 75 exhibitors on 3,200 m2 of trade fair space. This space was incorporated into the French Pavilion. It was distributed between halls 13, 15, 26 and 27. A total of 33 companies presented their wares under the brands “Choose France” and “La French Fab”. The sessions in the programme related to this Partner Country were:

  • French Solutions for a safer world: pitch of French companies
  • Symposium of the Franco-German Committee in CEMR. Preventing climate change-related hazards in France and Germany.

Italy featured 100 exhibitors on 5,000 m2 of event space, with the companies including:

  • Carabinieri
  • Divitec
  • Transferoil
  • Ofolux.
  • Reverse
  • Sanicube
  • Tema Sistemi
  • Safco
  • Spasciani
  • Fourgroup

Additionally, the Partner Country presented the sessions:

  • REAS powered by INTERSCHUTZ
  • Sharing a forest fire fighting training in Tolmezzo

The USA as a Partner Country presented five informative sessions during INTERSCHUTZ Forum. These were:

  • The current state of the USA’s Fire Service
  • Using technology in present-day Fire Services – the meeting between tradition and technology
  • Present-day Fire Services and diversity
  • Project Responder 6 – the US First Responder Needs
  • DHS S&T First Responder Research Priorities

The exposition was among the central highlights and featured exhibitors presenting their latest innovations. One such example is the THW. They displayed a pontoon boat prototype. It will enable the construction of floating working platforms and pontoon bridges. This is due to its structure comprising various modules with flexible expansion. The exhibitor also presented a drone that can search for lost individuals at sea or in flooded areas. Another presented novelty was a mobile workshop from the Logistics Materials Management Group. It comprised a 6-metre (20 feet) long container. It can be deployed close to the specified site and features a full array of vehicle and repair equipment. THW also presented in conjunction with the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) the EU module 17.

Another notable exhibitor was the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe. They presented a variety of wares. Among them were VR rescue services and civil protection simulations. The displayed products also included a novel ambulance equipment trolley. It is adapted optimally to the latest application requirements. This is due to its revised loading concept. Another remarkable product on display was the pilot project “anti-onlooker”. The project intends to prevent voyeurism at accident sites, thus saving human lives. This is achieved by placing large-scale QR codes on surfaces of strategic importance. Such include the sides of ambulances. When the mobile phone captures the code, the camera will recognise the code. It will then redirect the onlooker to a specialised website. On the website, users will see a message.

Hall 16 was the presentation stage for wares related to digitalisation. This included the applications of 5G. These were shown through demonstrations in the outdoor area. Among the exhibitors presenting innovative wares was Eurocommand, who displayed their CommandX CX5. This is a novel platform that features a 5th generation leadership support software. It features functionalities such as integrating with mobile applications. This allows it to provide live data transfer, drone data, guards displayed, and others. Esri also presented novel wares. Such included using geodata to select a suitable location for a new fire station.

NatureTec was one of the many start-up companies to present innovations at the trade fair. They displayed their wares at a joint booth in hall 16, number F48. Among the shown innovations was Fireproof360°, a novel e-learning platform. The products allow firefighters to prepare for stressful missions. This strengthens their mental resilience and health. It achieves the goal by presenting various scenarios using images and simulations. The programme further allows fire brigade leaders to start targeted measures. Such enables them to maintain high readiness. They can also recognise motivation lows in the early stages and counteract them. This is done by providing continuous data support analysis.

Another innovative start-up presented at the joint stand was Firedrill. They displayed a novel application for mobile phones. It allows employees to complete the regular safety exercises prescribed by companies. It furthermore enables them to develop routines for emergencies. The completion of the drills uses a real-time workplace environment. It achieves this via augmented reality or AR. The exercise comprises users following the main escape route. They must begin from the starting room and follow in full to the assembly location. Along the course, users can furthermore learn valuable information. Such as the location of fire extinguishers and alarms.

The Blaulichtmeile and the vintage car parade were chief attractions. The Blaulichtmeile or Blue Light Mile took place on 19.06.2022. It comprised a line of blue emergency lights accompanied by sirens, presented in Hannover’s inner city. They marked the arrival of the trade fair.

The vintage/classic car and motorcycle parade marked the beginning and end of the last event day. It took place as part of the German Fire Services/Firefighter Day on 25.06.2022. It featured around 50 vintage fire engines. They embarked on a procession from Messe Hannover to the downtown district of Hannover. They then returned to the fairgrounds. The International Firefighters Motorcycle Club, also known as the Red Knights, accompanied the vintage vehicles. The parade showed the history of fire services. It also highlighted the importance of understanding and appreciating history. Before the procession, the fire engines were available for visitors to study at the fair. They stayed in front of the New Town Hall before returning to the venue. Attendees could speak to the vehicle drivers during the pre-departure exhibition and in front of the Town Hall. Among the vintage models was a 60-year-old Mercedes-Benz 180 C that was available to Hannover’s fire chief until 08.1969. Other vintage examples are a Hanomag LF 88 from 1954 and a Ford Transit small fire engine from 1963. Among the 50 fire engines was an almost-60-year-old TLF 16 tank fire truck. Its driver attended, presenting historical lederhosen. Many others who also appeared in historical costumes followed their example. This added further flair to the parade.

INTERSCHUTZ 2022 marked the successful restart of the leading trade fair. It featured over 1,300 exhibitors from more than 50 countries. They praised the quality of the audience in attendance. This is due to the high level of internationality among the attendees. The 85,000 attending visitors represented 61 countries, including New Zealand. The visitor nations with the high percentage were:

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • the Netherlands
  • France
  • Belgium