A new level of health awareness is not only trending in the private sector, but also with fire departments. In today’s society, a changeover from a rigid health system to more individual health consciousness is occurring. People are more conscious of their life energy and quality. In the fire service, too, individuals try to create a balance between work, their private lives, and operational strength.

An emphasis is placed upon personal risk minimization in the operation of devices and vehicles, as well as on the monitoring of vital data. The aim is to pro-actively prevent risk and ensure the wellbeing of the crew. This can also be supported through corresponding ergonomically designed equipment.

Furthermore, the emergency crews are continually confronted with the issues of work pressure and performance. The more complex the extinguishing and rescue operation, the more the drain on the energy and strength of the firefighters. For this reason, both excessive mental and physical strains play a role. In order to counteract this, it is necessary to keep health consciousness in the crew’s focus and also to facilitate targeted sports, fitness, and relaxation activities to strike a balance.

In terms of vehicles, the main focus is on emissions reduction – not only are zero emission zones in planning, but also a general prohibition on vehicles with combustion engines across entire cities. In this context, the issue of noise reduction in cities is also increasingly being addressed. This calls for a rethink and also low-emission vehicles. This “green thinking” will also affect fire departments in their firefighting tactics, which is why we need to think about the means and measures that can be used to combat fires with as little pollution as possible, not only in terms of human health, but also in terms of the environment.

In your opinion, which aspects of health – be it vehicles, equipment, or the crews themselves – will fire departments face in the future? We appreciate your comments!