Nowadays, when security is mentioned, several types can be distinguished: on the one hand, the absence of violence and unrest, on the other, the security of one’s own personal sphere. Also, however, one needs to think about the security of data – of individuals or companies.

More and more, companies are tackling the issue of security, especially data security. The popular slogans of our time – Big Data and Industry 4.0 – bring about benefits and risks at the same time. On the one hand, they facilitate the simplification of processes and help to provide a better overview of and possibilities for the technological processes and operations monitoring. On the other hand, they open up a large number of potential attack vulnerabilities for hackers and enable data espionage.

This new form of security considers people themselves a safety factor, not just a potential risk. Thus, security awareness is also becoming increasingly important in the fire service. Employees are often the focus of the public eye. Digital and social media make it easier nowadays to obtain the personal data of individual crew members in a very short time and make it vulnerable to exploitation. In addition, more and more tactics and procedures are made available online through videos, offering unexpected perspectives for the evaluation of the right or wrong perceived action of the individual or the entire team. The same also applies to the protection of the privacy of the persons concerned – victims and injured persons – so that no video sequences of the accident are indiscriminately made available on the internet.

Another form of security also plays an important role in protecting the team. Intelligent clothing supports and facilitates health monitoring – especially the vital data of the emergency personnel can be constantly monitored and controlled. Intelligent operation provides the team with additional support and thus more safety with regard to concentrated working. This can be achieved, for example, by means of personalized application profiles for equipment or one-man operation, in the absence of available operational forces.

In the future it could also be possible to better assess the incidence of fires, frequent accident spots, and also natural disasters, and thus act faster thanks to forward-looking analyses. For example, it would be feasible to automatically adjust the deployment of the available crews in the event of heavy rain, as the risk of flooding increases. An intelligent route guidance for missions, which automatically calculates alternative routes during rush hours, is also feasible.

Where do you see future development areas in fire services in relation to the topic of security?
I look forward to your comments!