Catalan Fire and Rescue Service hosted the second Annual Dissemination Workshop of the FIRE-IN project in Barcelona on 15 May 2019. FIRE-IN (Fire and Rescue Innovation Network) is a five-year Horizon 2020 project, which started in 2017 with an aim to identify practitioners’ current needs and connect them with relevant innovative solutions, research and standardisation bodies. The ultimate objective of FIRE-IN is to raise the security level of the EU citizens by improving the Fire and Rescue services capabilities to address various forms of hazards, natural or man-made. 82 participants from 15 European countries took part in the event, which this year was organised as a mix between showcasing the preliminary results of the project and the direct interactions with solution providers. During the morning session, the participants were presented with the results of the 10 workshops, in which 120 experts from 19 countries explored different challenges through real-life scenarios such as a plane crash in the mountains or a road tunnel fire. This exercise helped the FIRE-IN partners to identify the most pressing issues, which should be prioritized by research and industry.
The first demo version of the project’s innovative web-based e-FIRE-IN Platform was also presented to the participants. Planned as a forum for seamless interaction between practitioners, research, industry and standardization bodies, e-FIRE-IN platform will also serve a useful tool for innovation monitoring, requesting ideas, results’ publication and events organisation. The e-FIRE-IN release is scheduled for mid-2020.
For the afternoon session, the organisers invited 12 representatives from the private sector, researchers and partners from other EU-funded and national projects in the field of Fire and Rescue to present their solutions and engaged in a discussions on how these solutions could be applied to the identified challenges.
The presentations ranged from a software system that simulates pedestrian flows during emergencies (Exodus by the University of Greenwich) to an initiative project involving 10 to 18 year-old youth in fire brigades (Danish project Youth in Preparedness). Besides the young cadets’ project, the Baltic Sea Region was represented in the meeting by another Danish project “Veterans in Fire Service”, led by Østsjællands Fire and Rescue Service and by the Interreg’s ResQU2 platform (“Enhancing the durability of learning experiences gained in ChemSAR, HAZARD, DiveSmart Baltic and Mirg-Ex projects on guidelines, operational plans and procedures and exercises related to incidents at sea and in ports”).
The project partners agreed to continue inviting potential solution providers to the annual workshops since this format proved to be useful in creating meaningful connections within the network and received support from the participants.
The next FIRE-IN dissemination Workshop will take place during the Interschutz Fair in Hannover, Germany on 18th June 2020.