Plain numbers are always a good indication of the size of an event. This year the exhibition in Fulda, now in its 13th edition, hosted 450 exhibitors from 19 countries worldwide, spread over an area of 70,000 sqm.
By the end of the three days of exhibition and workshops, 22,000 people had attended.
These are important figures which bear witness to the interest shown in rescue and emergency. Over the last 15 years this constantly evolving sector has undergone a profound transformation and continues to evolve at great speed.
The tools available to emergency workers are increasingly sophisticated and allow the use of technology whilst maintaining safety and permitting treatment to be tailored to suit the needs of the patient.
Rettmobil is a benchmark event not only for Europe, but worldwide, with its variety of products and innovative systems. Exhibitors ranged from the main manufacturers of motor vehicles – Mercedes, BMW, VolksWagen, Renault – to ambulance fitters like Binz, Was, Gruau, B.A.U.S. AT, to mention just a few, alongside a long list of manufacturers of rescue and emergency equipment – stretchers, evacuation chairs, spinal boards, defibrillators.
Clothing for emergency and rescue workers was also on show – helmets, footwear, backpacks, first-aid bags – with all the accessories required by ambulances – sirens, lights – alongside outfitting for internal spaces, cupboards, drawers and accommodation rooms for staff. An absolute paradise for rescue workers who flock to the event to find out what’s new on the market.
The keywords accompanying the event obviously focus on increasing efficiency, which means better internal management of the space inside an ambulance, providing more space to move about in; ergonomic designof cupboards and containers to make it easier to find equipment and therefore to speed up interventions.
Much attention was paid to automated vehicle disinfection systems designed to contain the risks posed by the spread of disease and contamination, e.g. B.A.U.S. AT, WAS; improved vehicle stability for safer transportation of patient and crew across any surface, including rough terrain, e.g. Tamlans.
Emphasis at Rettungsmobil 2013 was placed on the rescue of obese patients, which leads to greater requirements for ad hoc tools, starting with bariatric stretchers, designed to facilitate the moving of heavy weights without increasing the burden on the rescue crew. Larger stretchers, e.g. Stryke, and systems that allow the bed to be widened as required create a suitable means of transporting overweight patients.
Technology is evolving to make rescue and transportation easier, which is why we are seeing a rise in the types of automatic applications in the load systems of stretchers and chairs, e.g. WAS, AMZ.
Integrated LED lighting in vehicle roofs, the evolution of Can-Bus systems, the all-season ambulance is now being enriched with instruments increasing the level of detail, including aesthetic details customisable to customer requirements.
Rettmobil is also synonymous with training and practical rescue demos. The simulation used in the field by Holmatro, leading manufacturer of electrical instruments for emergency situations, was well attended. The Holmatro Rescue Experience, an exercise based on a major incident involving several vehicles, cars and a bus, was staged during the exhibition in the area adjacent to the exhibition pavilions.
The German Ministry of Defence was also present at the exhibition, providing practical demonstrations of interventions using special rescue vehicles, ranging from a giant armoured ambulance to a helicopter.
On top of all this there were workshops and conferences for crews, medics and paramedics, with valuable lessons on the treatment of patients in specific cases, very useful training for those who work with emergencies on a daily basis.
Rettmobil has shown itself to be a constantly expanding exhibition, where concrete ideas are at the service of progress and are translated into common good available to the general public. Furthermore, it is an event at which the word ‘crisis’ has finally been substituted by positive terms like ‘growth’ and ‘development’. Given the world economic context, this is a comforting exception.