Advancing technological change and social upheaval are impacting our working world with constantly increasing intensity. Digitalization and automation – keyword Industry 4.0 – are creeping into ever more business areas. On one hand, a multitude of workflows and process steps are streamlined as a result. On the other hand, such developments create uncertainty with regard to job security in the future. Well-educated specialists and experts, however, need not fret, especially when employed in industries where digitization and IT systems are essential components of the production or offered services. On the contrary, the challenge here is a lack of qualified personnel. Constant training is required on the part of the employer and employees in order to keep up with technological progress. Another trend that is surfacing is the ever growing number of employees placing greater importance on more leisure time and more flexible working environments and schedules.

So what does this development based on the megatrend new work mean exactly for fire departments? For one, for example, more flexible work schedules can affect the planning capabilities of volunteer emergency personnel available to a fire department during the day for emergencies as well as for exercises and training. Business areas that allow telecommuting clearly benefit fire departments in the sense that they improve the daily availability of emergency personnel.

Like in the working world, the range of tasks of the fire department will also expand. Equipment and vehicles are becoming more and more complex and diverse in their range of services, which, of course, requires corresponding training, including continuous training, so that the technology is mastered for exercises and above all in the event of an emergency. What is essential here is the handling and operation of the equipment, which in the future must be even simpler and more intuitive.

As a result of the change from industrial to information to knowledge society, handicraft trades are becoming less and less important. Subsequently, fewer and fewer emergency personnel will have the technical skills they have possessed until now to deal with technical operations, as well as to make minor and major repairs to the equipment and vehicles.

As evident from the Firefighting Trendmap, there are still many other points that illustrate the effects on the development of the working world in fire departments. More about this in the next blog post.


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