Rosenbauer, the world’s largest manufacturer of fire and rescue vehicles, is using digital innovation and technology to support firefighting crews on the front line now and in the future.
We are using pioneering technology and equipment, such as drones, revolutionary vehicles and efficient pumping appliances, to improve how firefighters can respond to emergency situations.
Safety and efficiency are at the heart of everything we do and the reason we are passionate about using technology to create state-of-the-art products that support the emergency services.
Setting the new benchmark in firefighting vehicles
Our Concept Fire Truck (CFT) sets the benchmark for functionality and ergonomics.
The CFT is fundamentally different from vehicles in service at fire stations today. Rather than just using an existing chassis and developing the body around it, we created a completely new kind of emergency vehicle focused on the functional demands of tomorrow’s emergency services.
Some of its features include:
- Zero-emission electric drive with diesel range extender engine for complete operational resilience
- Permanent four-wheel drive with electronic stability control
- Optional four-wheel steering
- Height-adjustable suspension
- A flexible interior.
That flexible interior means that the cockpit and crew cabin are not separated by a partition wall as they normally would be. Instead there is one continuous cabin that can be used as a command centre.
The driver’s and commander’s seats can be turned around for mini-meetings and discussions during deployment. All information required by the crew can be displayed on the central main control station, which is operated via touchscreens with multiple functions combined to enhance user-friendliness.
All of this comes together to make communication much more efficient and effective.
The CFT is also more cost-effective due to lower energy costs and lower maintenance costs, as a third fewer parts are installed in comparison with conventional vehicles.
Pre-series vehicles based on the CFT are already being purchased. The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) is the first service in North America to purchase a pre-series vehicle based on the CFT. This will be delivered in the first quarter of 2021 and put into practice as part of a comprehensive test operation.
The main application area for the CFT technology at this stage is municipal firefighting vehicles. However, as we are always looking to the future, it will also be applied to other types of vehicle further down the line.
Digital solutions that put safety first
Safety before, during and after emergency operations is key to reducing any kind of health risk, both physical and psychological, for firefighters. Our intelligent operating systems support rescue operations, in order to minimise error sources and enable quicker decision-making.
We are working intensively on digitally networked products, such as robots, drones and augmented-reality systems, to support fire services with coordination and monitoring during their deployments.
All Rosenbauer vehicles have the option to be equipped with our service4fire vehicle-management software. During operation, service4fire records information about the vehicle position, operation and condition. This data can then be accessed and evaluated remotely, allowing an overview of operational readiness at any given time.
Our innovations within digital technology can also be applied to training functions. We now have simulators developed for emergency response driving as well as tactical simulators for both the PANTHER and Rosenbauer Aerial ladders.
Simulator training is cost-efficient and possible at all times and it does not require personnel to be placed in dangerous situations unnecessarily. Simulator-based deployments can be repeated as many times as necessary, recorded and discussed in debriefing sessions – and there are no consequences if someone makes a mistake!
We now also offer distance-learning programmes for customers. Our e-learning platform can provide training for service technicians as well as providing updates on product innovations, and is regularly updated with new courses and training material.
Harnessing the power of drone technology
We are working in partnership with DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, to bring the benefits of digital emergency response management to anyone involved with being called to tackle an emergency situation.
An aerial perspective, combined with Rosenbauer’s operation management system, will enable situations to be quickly assessed and well-informed decisions made regarding the safest and most efficient deployment of personnel.
Appliances that improve capability and safety
The AT-STINGER is a revolutionary concept of appliance created in order to meet the demands of increased ability of front-line pumping appliances. The Rosenbauer municipal STINGER boom element has an output of up to 5,500 litres and can easily deliver 400 litres to a standard branch – with any delivery output in-between.
The piercing tool is capable of penetrating buildings, windows and containers. This means that in the event of a fire, the crew can efficiently extinguish the fire without needing to commit BA teams to any unnecessary danger.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services have two AT-STINGER appliances in operation and have recently won UK Fire Service of the Year at the iESE 2020 awards. The judges noted that the service has some of the most innovative and outstanding facilities in the country and made note of how the STINGER appliance has enhanced firefighter safety and firefighting capability.
This innovative appliance demonstrates once again how Rosenbauer technology can be used to make firefighting safer and enable incidents to be dealt with swiftly and effectively.
Weight-saving and eco-friendly fans
Our new FANERGY B16 battery-powered fan is a silent and environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional combustion-engine version. High performance fans with electric motors have a number of strengths, such as being quiet, environmentally friendly and exhaust free.
The fan unit can be adjusted continuously within a range of 40° – ensuring greater flexibility and short set-up times during operation. Due to its efficient design, the model is ultra-light and robust, offering a 50% weight saving compared to non-battery-powered devices.
Stronger and more robust platforms
With the B34 2.0, Rosenbauer presented the next generation of its standard hydraulic firefighting and rescue platform. Substantial parts have been reworked and equipped with new, weight-optimised components, meaning a three-axle chassis is no longer required.
Instead, the B34 2.0 can be built on a two-axle vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 18 tonnes. A newly developed telescopic boom ensures that the boom set can be extended further than that of a B32 and reach a rescue height of 34m with the cage attached.
High-strength steels give the telescopic boom the required strength and robustness, and the tried and tested Rosenbauer horizontal-vertical jacks with stepless width detection ensure stability in any situation. A special highlight is the newly overhauled rescue cage with payload of 500kg with extensive equipment.
The B34 2.0 is also fitted with basic extinguishing equipment, consisting of an infeed in the rear of the vehicle, a telescopic water riser (TWS) and a turret situated at the front of the cage. The cage turret’s performance has been increased by almost 30% to 3,800 l/min as part of this overhaul.
Providing support and protection
The health and safety of firefighters is Rosenbauer’s top priority and is always our focus when it comes to developing our products. Product ergonomics and safety devices are being continuously improved in order to provide the fire services with the best possible support and protection as they go about their daily work.
The COMFORT stowage system, for example, has been designed to make life easier – sliding trays and lowering devices make it easy for firefighters to remove heavy and unwieldy equipment from the vehicle. A tensioned spring system with a one-finger bar bracket allows firefighters to remove and securely lock away equipment with just one hand.
An individual approach
With all of our Rosenbauer vehicle models, we are able to offer individualisation of the design. Our technical systems are flexible and able to adapt to individual requirements in order to provide the right solutions for each customer.
This high level of specialisation is a key innovative concept within the current fire market as different brigades can face varying challenges and have diverse priorities – one size cannot fit all.
Firefighting technology has to function under the most extreme and challenging of conditions, and firefighters have to be able to rely completely on their equipment throughout the entire deployment.
With the world’s most technologically advanced vehicles and equipment configurations on the market, we are continuously striving to improve the existing range and deliver innovations that support and enhance the work of the UK fire and rescue services.
If you have any questions or would like any further information about any of the products mentioned in this article, please contact us.
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