AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is the biggest-ever edition of the event. This is due in part to the first-time inclusion of the national conference of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) in the AFAC program, which also includes the Australian Disaster Resilience Conference.

The high-caliber Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Research Forum will once again cover all the latest research findings on natural catastrophes and resilience, while a German group pavilion with 11 companies will also be making an appearance at AFAC19.

A further highlight includes a talk by the President of the German Fire Service Association (DFV), Hartmut Ziebs – the first time a German speaker has been featured in the AFAC conference program – speaking on the topic ‘How does the German fire brigade system work?’

Better preparation for emergencies

This year we are dealing with major issues that affect us all: growth, climate change and technological progress"This year's lead theme at AFAC19 is ‘A shift to the new norm: riding the wave of change’, involving the need for emergency services to adapt to a new age in which substantial transformation becomes the normal state of affairs. This includes better preparation for emergencies, greater resilience in society and increased capacity to recover more quickly from crises.

"This year we are dealing with some major issues that affect us all: growth, climate change and technological progress," says Stuart Ellis, AFAC CEO. "But we are also facing the challenge of promoting greater diversity and integration to better reflect the communities we serve," he adds.

AFAC19 brings together the fire and rescue services of Australia as well as companies and organizations from abroad to discuss the latest issues. A total of nearly 200 companies will be showcasing their newest products and services on 12,000 square meters of exhibition space.

Companies exhibiting at German pavilion

AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is a joint project of the AFAC, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and Deutsche MesseThe following companies will be exhibiting at the German group pavilion: ALRO Engineering, askö, Crystop, Haix Group, Luitpold Schott Amaturenfabrik, s.tec Germany, Schmitz One Seven, Securemen, Skylotec, Stumpf & Kossendey Verlagsgesellschaft and the Wagner Group.

The German pavilion is organized by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as well as the INTERSCHUTZ partner, the German Fire Protection Association (vfdb). AFAC19 powered by INTERSCHUTZ is a joint project of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and Deutsche Messe, acting in the capacity of Hannover Fairs Pty Ltd.

Deutsche Messe AG participates in AFAC by contributing its exhibition management expertise. At the same time, AFAC serves to reinforce the international standing of the Hannover-based INTERSCHUTZ event.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Disrupts Trade Show Schedule In Fire Industry
COVID-19 Pandemic Disrupts Trade Show Schedule In Fire Industry

Among other impacts on the fire industry, the COVID-19 global pandemic has played havoc with the industry’s trade show schedule, with some major events canceled and other delayed. There are still several events planned for later in 2020 – fingers crossed! After canceling the FDIC International show in Indianapolis in April, Clarion Events is planning a new event, the United Fire Conference, September 22-24, at the Indiana Convention Center. The ‘fully immersive’ event will bring the international fire community together to discuss key themes around timely and mission-critical topics, including pandemics, infection control, hazards in blended missions, and preparing for the future. Extensive outreach and conversations “During the FDIC team’s extensive outreach and conversations with the fire service, there was an overwhelming desire expressed by firefighters to come together in the fall to celebrate the unity of the fire service, learn and support ongoing efforts in serving their communities and continue training,” according to a statement from Clarion Events. “At this point it is nearly impossible to predict the status of the pandemic in September; however, we are currently proceeding with plans for the conference,” says Clarion Events. In any case, FDIC International 2021 is still being planned April 19-24, 2021, at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  Utmost concern for wellbeing We have been listening to our stakeholders, some of whom asked us to not hold the event" Also cancelled was the NFPA Conference & Expo in June 2020 in Orlando. “We have been listening to our stakeholders, some of whom asked us to not hold the event and other who encouraged us to move forward.” However, after “Great thought and with the utmost concern for everyone’s wellbeing,” the event was cancelled. Some NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) activities that occur during the event, such as the Association’s Annual Meeting, Election of directors to the board, and the Codes and Standards Technical Meeting, are being facilitated remotely. The 2021 NFPA Conference and Expo will be June 22-25, 2021, at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, marking the 125th anniversary of the Association. Well attended event Firehouse Expo, managed by Endeavor Business Media, will be October 30-November 1 at Music City Center, Nashville, Tenn. (delayed from July dates). “We are confident that the October dates will result in a stronger, safer and more well attended event where the fire community can come together to train, learn and rebuilt,” says Peter Matthews, Firehouse Expo Conference Director. The INTERSCHUTZ international fire show in Hanover, Germany (which takes place every five years), has been delayed one year and will be June 14-19, 2021 (delayed from June 2020 dates). More than 150,000 visitors from all over the world attend the show. The show organizers state: “The coronavirus directly affects both exhibitors and visitors to INTERSHUTZ and requires them to be available for duty at other locations.” Providing education resources Fire Rescue International (FRI), planned for August 19-21 in Phoenix, Arizona, is going virtual. The virtual experience will provide education resources on timely issues and the insights needed to keep communities safe. Another industry show planned for later in the year: INTERSCHUTZ USA, launched for the first time, is still planned for October 13-17 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.

Why Fire Safety Must Be A Priority When Reopening Businesses
Why Fire Safety Must Be A Priority When Reopening Businesses

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And in the midst of returning to work and implementing necessary fever screening solutions and social distancing policies, it may even fall further down the necessary requirements, for businesses who are naturally eager to open and ‘get going.’ Providing Fire Safety But the Government and leading authoritative fire industry bodies have made it absolutely clear that, “Coronavirus is not an excuse for disregarding your responsibilities and businesses must ensure that they have an adequate amount of competent people to help in the implementation of both preventative and protective fire safety measures.” Above all else, fire detection is there to save lives; but the way in which systems are presented, will depend on their surroundings. For many facilities it involves more than the best choice of products and services. It also requires compliance to standards, currently changing in light of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and a need to consider the environment that it serves to keep safe. fire detection technology It is crucial that buildings are fitted with the highest quality life safety systems to ensure ultra-reliable protection Style of a fire detection system would be considered a priority for a hospitality environment, including hotel and restaurant facilities, to blend with the aesthetics and not impact on the ambience created. In any leisure facilities such as a Gym, it is essential fire detection measures and systems are in place that will provide customers, employees and the premises itself, with sufficient prevention against fire at all times. To keep up with demand, a system needs to be simple to install and operational as quickly as possible for the benefit of members and staff. However, a manufacturing vicinity will require latest fire detection technology to ensure the safety of its building, its specialist products and all personnel who operate on site. Similarly, an art studio is a specialist consideration when it comes to fire safety, especially with the use of different materials and substances in every day works by the artists on site.  ensure ultra-Reliable protection Both temporary and permanent healthcare facilities in this period have undoubtedly been key to fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, and experienced an expediential increased demand for patient care. With more people to treat and protect, those working or residing within these spaces have to be considered at greater risk in the event of a fire emergency. It is crucial that these buildings have been and continue to be fitted with the highest quality life safety systems to ensure ultra-reliable protection. And the same is true for care homes, a vulnerable group in the fight against coronavirus. They require critical and reliable, functioning fire detection equipment that presents high performance protection, avoiding false alarms to prevent moving elderly residents unnecessarily. In each of these scenarios, the need to act quickly is paramount.  Fire Detection Operations Fire safety must be kept a priority to ensure a return to work can occur seamlessly and successfully In healthcare, immediacy is a common theme through the industry, be it providing treatment or responding to a patient’s symptoms. This is no different in fire safety, with detection systems requiring an ease of use, by anyone operating on site. In businesses returning to work ‘post-lockdown’ the appointed Fire Marshalls and responsible persons may not be the ones returning to office locations, so others need to be trained with simple to operate solutions. In summary, fire safety must be kept a priority, arguably now more than ever to ensure a return to work can occur seamlessly and successfully, and with an obligation of care to workers coming back to operating establishments. By understanding these environments and choosing systems accordingly, duty holders can ensure they reduce risks across their premises and maintain a safe ‘new normal’. multi-Sensor detectors Comelit presents its FIA accredited family of ATENA and ERACLE fire detection and fire alarm systems, which offers a diverse portfolio of intelligent, addressable products that are feature-rich, easy to install, simple to operate and offer incomparable reliability. Tested to rigorous standards, the range encompasses smoke, heat and multi-sensor detectors as well as IP rated devices including sounders and callpoints, alongside accessories to complete installations. To support the installer, we have product specific basic and advanced commissioning training courses, together with a full suite of calculation tools for our ATENA addressable systems for both loop loading and battery standby calculations, helping to identify possible issues prior to installation. All signs that we want to work in partnership with our customers to ensure manufacture, design and install of stylish (often bespoke) fire detection systems are a smooth operation for the benefit and peace of mind of businesses and facilities across the UK.

International Association Of Fire Chiefs Asks For Exception To Enable Volunteer Fire Departments To Receive EIDL Funds
International Association Of Fire Chiefs Asks For Exception To Enable Volunteer Fire Departments To Receive EIDL Funds

Volunteer fire departments are ineligible to obtain funds from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program because of their dependence on bingo games and raffles for fundraising. With the COVID-19 crisis destroying the ability of volunteer departments to raise funds, access to the EIDL program could provide needed assistance during a time of economic crisis. Under current rules, the assistance is unavailable. Economic Injury Disaster Loans program As the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) implements the EIDL program to support private entities reeling from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government agency has deemed that entities (such as volunteer fire departments) are ineligible for assistance if they receive more than one-third of their revenue from legal gaming, which the Internal Revenue Service interprets to include bingo games and raffles. “While this determination may not have been intended to preclude volunteer fire departments from receiving this critical assistance, many of the most acutely impacted private non-profit fire departments are unable to request the assistance that they desperately need,” according to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Financial funding for private non-profit fire departments In a letter, the IAFC has urged the SBA to adjust the EIDL assistance program in order to provide greater financial assistance to private non-profit fire departments. In effect, the association of fire chiefs is asking the agency to exempt volunteer fire departments, recognized under Section 501(C) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), from the limit on legal gaming revenue. “The unprecedented economic downturn and stay-at-home orders have decimated the ability of these agencies to meet their fundraising needs,” said the letter, adding “The IAFC urges the [SBA] to waive this requirement and support private nonprofit fire departments in their work to answer calls for emergency service.” Over-reliance on volunteer personnel According to the USFA, 70% of U.S. fire departments rely solely on volunteer personnel to respond to emergencies According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), 70% of U.S. fire departments rely solely on volunteer personnel to respond to emergencies. Located in rural communities with limited tax bases, these agencies rely upon community support to sustain their operations. The EIDL program is a mechanism to support private entities staggering from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In late April 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published an interim rule to waive the cap on legal gaming revenues for public entities seeking assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program. However, this change does not impact fire departments that utilize volunteers and own their property outright. Economic Injury Disaster Loan facility “The IAFC fears that these private non-profit fire departments may be unable to maintain their emergency response operations if a similar exemption is not also made for the EIDL program,” the letter further adds. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and organizations in all U.S. States, Washington D.C., and overseas US territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to US$ 10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

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