Long-awaited, The Emergency Services Show successfully returned to the NEC, Birmingham on 7–8 September, showcasing the latest technology and solutions transforming emergency response and facilitating new partnerships. Around the indoor and outdoor exhibition, it was clear that the entire emergency services community and its supply chain had a real appetite to share their learnings and developments face-to-face. David Brown, Event Director, The Emergency Services Show said: ‘The blue light sector had waited almost two years to meet again at the show and they clearly weren’t disappointed – we’ve received some excellent feedback from both visitors and exhibitors. The groundbreaking innovations on display highlighted how technology is transforming our emergency services, improving efficiency and front-line response and I can’t wait to see how this transformation progresses over the next 12 months.’
Amid the jubilation of the live event returning, huge challenges remain for the emergency services in the coming months and years as we move out of the pandemic. The inevitable rise in terrorism, the backlog in the justice system and the complexity of integrating the ever-evolving IT structures across the emergency services were all themes touched on by Lord Hogan Howe, former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, in his opening address in the new Future Policing zone.
Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chief Council advocated much closer partnerships between the emergency services and business to address these challenges. ‘We need to be sustainable and to plan for the future. What do we need to equip our people with in five years’ time? We need to be much better about building partnerships with commercial organisations,’ he said. ‘Where are the gaps? Where do we need a new capability? … We have got to adapt and innovate … The public safety issues we have today are different. That’s why events like this are really important.’
Around the exhibition over 450 businesses and organisations were showcasing the latest technology and solutions and engaging with the emergency services to understand their future needs. ‘This is the only show to attend. This is the cutting edge of product launches, vehicles and equipment. It’s a must-attend and must-exhibit event,’ said Oliver North, CEO, Venari Group which unveiled its all-new lightweight Ford Venari ambulance at the Show.
Nicola Savage, Group Marketing Director, Excelerate Technology agreed: ‘I don’t know any other way of showcasing what you do and bringing your environment to a space where people can really touch, feel and get to know your products and solutions.’
‘This show is fantastic. It’s big, there’s everything from vehicles to body armour to drones to IT systems. We like to come here because it’s all under one roof,’ said Jo Osborne, Regional Commercial Director, BlueLight Commercial.
The health and wellbeing of emergency service workers was a key theme once again with experts sharing their tools and techniques in the dedicated Health and Wellbeing theatre. Mental fitness expert 87% launched the results of its 18-month long study of over 10,000 front-line workers. It found that as many as 60% of emergency service workers are experiencing chronically poor work-life balance. However, there was also robust evidence of wellbeing strengths across the sector, with 92% of front-line staff expressing pride in the work that they do and 90% saying that they enjoy finding solutions to new problems. 85% believe that there is a positive side to everyday challenges.
This resilience and positive mindset was very much evident in the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) Extrication and Trauma Challenge which took place over both days of the show. Firefighting teams from across the country tested their skills in first aid and trauma care, road traffic accident extrication and casualty care, drawing large audiences. Huge congratulations to Highgate Red and Northfield Blue who came joint first in the Trauma challenge, and Hay Mills Blue and Highgate Red who will all go forward to represent WMFS at next year’s national challenge.
Elsewhere in the exhibition, visitors took full advantage of the plethora of CPD opportunities available including the popular College of Paramedic workshops and getting hands-on experience of the latest medical devices and equipment.
The Emergency Services Show returns to Hall 5 at the NEC, Birmingham on 21–22 September 2022. Companies and organisations wanting to book a stand at The Emergency Services Show 2022 should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org