Dealing with megatrends is equated time and again with trying to predict the future - one might wish for that often, but only to a very limited extent.
Megatrends are nothing more than a summary of developments and currents that have shaped us as a society in many situations in the recent past - economy, politics, technology, culture and many others - and that are slowly but fundamentally changing the world - like this also the fire service world!
Blue light organizations
The fire brigade trend map 4.0 provides an overview of the most relevant changes and trends that have a direct or indirect influence on fire brigades, their areas of operation, resources and their environment as a whole. In addition, it also gives an outlook on ‘possible’ future scenarios and framework conditions that the fire brigades could be confronted with. As time also brings new knowledge, the content is checked, updated and revised in regular cycles for their value. Well, what has actually changed since the last fire department trend map?
As time also brings new knowledge, the content is checked, updated and revised in regular cycles for their value
In principle, it can be anticipated that the megatrends connectivity, neo-ecology, mobility and health have noticeably increased in relevance for the fire service sector. Terms such as digitization, Internet of Things or Big Data are inevitably linked to connectivity which in many ways can be found more and more in the context of the blue light organizations and are gaining acceptance there.
Essential key factor
Access to and seamless processing of vehicle data as well as traffic and infrastructure information for the benefit of the smooth handling of operations, IOT-supported real-time navigation in closed buildings or robotics systems that carry out autonomous missions are just a few examples that show what is already possible with current technology.
The ongoing climate crisis and phenomena such as heavy rain events, prolonged periods of heat and devastating forest fires have brought environmental concerns back into the limelight among people and politics. The intensity and frequency with which such weather phenomena occur present the fire brigades with challenges that are difficult to overcome. In this context, prevention and early detection become an essential key factor. The megatrend neo-ecology also deals intensively with sustainable technologies.
Accidental electric vehicles
The main focus of the health megatrend is people's increasing health awareness
Alternative forms of propulsion and energy generation play a major role, which fire brigades will increasingly be confronted with in the future - especially when it comes to dealing with accidental electric vehicles, lithium-ion battery fires, etc. Linked to this is the megatrend of mobility, in which, in addition to the topic of autonomous driving, car sharing and micro mobility, drones, whether as manned air taxis or unmanned, autonomously flying transport units, are gaining in importance.
When it comes to security, the General Data Protection Regulation and the topic of cybercrime are particularly important cornerstones that must be considered. But smart homes are also a potential risk when it comes to cybercrime - whether they have positive advantages for their users. The main focus of the health megatrend is people's increasing health awareness.
Fire service sector
In the fire service sector, this is noticeable, among other things, in that more and more attention is paid to emergency site hygiene, strict black-and-white separation in the event of pollution or the reduction of physical stress is respected. In the future, the monitoring of vital and health parameters, which is now easily possible using conventional fitness watches and straps, can reduce the health risk during strenuous activities.
One trend that has been boosted by the current COVID-19 pandemic is new work
One trend that has been boosted by the current COVID-19 pandemic is new work. Mobile workplaces and home offices have caused an uproar in the world of work in recent months and are forcing companies to rethink their approach to more flexible working methods. In comparison, the globalization trend is experiencing a slight damper - it is currently being rethought.
Essential influencing factors
Since the importance of shortened supply chains and regional productions has become apparent in the last few months, regional and local added value in particular is gaining relevance again. Of course, the silver society megatrends, gender shift, knowledge culture, individualization and urbanization continue to have an impact on the fire brigade and its environment, albeit not with the same intensity as those mentioned above.
Likewise, in discussions with fire service experts and on the basis of secondary research results, four drivers were defined which should be considered as essential influencing factors for the entire fire service trend landscape, regardless of trend influences. On the one hand, this concerns the speed and dynamism with which trends prevail and new technologies are established, and on the other, migration and politics, which specifies the relevant framework conditions and thus exerts a constant influence on the fire service. If one would like to know what exactly is behind the mega and macro trends, Rosenbauer would like to invite everyone to take a look at the digital Rosenbauer fire department trend map.