Firefighting trends in 2024

Firefighting and fire services will continue to feel the impact of new technologies in 2024, among other trends, says the Big Red Guide

According to the news, analysis and information platform serving the firefighting and protection industry, the Big Red Guide, fire services will need to keep up with an ever-changing environment this year. They will be faced with the continued introduction of new technologies as well as the challenge of attracting new talent, and a new series of risks that go beyond firefighting.

AI, VR, drones, and robots

For the firefighting platform new technologies will have a sustained effect on firefighting this year. Artificial intelligence (AI), which already dominated 2023, will have an ongoing impact on firefighting and fire services throughout 2024, says the platform. AI is currently being used to analyse video footage of remote locations to provide early warnings of wildfires, but the Big Red Guide argues that it will increasing become part of the daily life of fire departments in 2024 and beyond.

In addition, virtual reality (VR), will also have a role to play, providing a more immersive training environment and better simulations for new fire fighters. And, with respect to hardware, aerial drones will continue to provide firefighters with better visual data about an active fire, while firefighting robots will offer the possibility to navigate dangerous environments and fight fires without risking human life.

Apart from these technologies, predictive analytics will increase the ability to identify fire hazards before they occur, predicting fire risks and optimising the allocation of resources.

According to the Big Red Guide, while the ability to use historical data has enabled firefighting services to proactively deploy resources and prevent fires, going forward the analysis of data will also allow them to optimise their budgets and improve efficiency.

Firefighting trends in 2024
Credit: Unsplash

Electrification and eco-friendly materials

Electric and hybrid fire trucks are the new standard, and the adoption of more sustainable vehicles is likely to accelerate this year, says the Big Red Guide.

Eco-friendly fire suppression materials, more effective but less harmful to the environment, are also being developed and will be further deployed this year. However, in the guide’s view, this trend implies the increased danger that goes along with lithium-ion batteries.

More Cooperation

The platform also foresees more inter-departmental coordination and cooperation as departments share more data, expertise, and resources, especially with respect to large-scale fires and emergencies.

There is also a growing need to engage with communities, the Big Red Guide says, working with other stakeholders to raise awareness about fire safety and prevention, and this tendency is set to continue.

Attracting Talent

According to the Big Red Guide, attracting talent to fire services will continue to be a challenge in the firefighting world in 2014. With a shortage of skilled personnel, fire services drastically need to recruit more people to careers in the fire profession, and for the firefighting platform, a marketing effort will be required to attract new talent.

Moreover, to retain firefighters, departments will also have to take seriously the need to support personnel dealing with stress and trauma.

A new series of risks

The role of firefighters is changing as the world changes, the platform claims. Extinguishing flames and saving people from danger will always be a core firefighting function, but firefighters also now need to deal with risks and threats such as hazardous materials, road traffic incidents, medical emergencies, and natural disasters like floods and wildfires arising from climate change.

In 2024, the firefighting and protection industry platform asserts, a new generation of fire service leaders will be needed to address these challenges.

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Feature image credit: Unsplash

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