The 2016 Emergency Services Show proved to be the biggest in the event’s ten-year history and provided a fascinating insight into the UK’s fast-evolving Emergency Services industry. The move to the larger Hall 5 at the NEC in Birmingham enabled the organisers to offer more free learning and networking opportunities than ever before, with over 80 free seminar sessions, numerous CPD Workshops and skills stations, live demonstrations and a series of water-based rescue displays. The latter took place on the Pendigo Lake immediately outside the exhibition hall.
A record number of 6,433 visitors included a 45% increase in overseas attendees. Exhibiting at the event, Alex Creamer, head of business development at Steroplast Healthcare Ltd, said: “This show is a great gateway to the Emergency Services sector. It covers everything from coastguards to the police service and the military. There’s a wide range of buyers here including Emergency Services professionals from abroad.”
The event broke new ground with features dedicated to drones and ICT innovation, as well as a new ‘show within a show’ which highlighted the work of the Fire and Rescue Services in the areas of health, well-being and prevention. Supported by the ‘Fire Kills’ campaign and the Chief Fire Officers Association, Home Safety 2016 comprised a free two-day seminar programme and a dedicated exhibition showcasing specialist equipment for the safe home.
Over 20% of the 460 exhibition stands were occupied by new exhibitors. These included WASP Rescue. The Warning Alarm for Stability Protection (WASP) was most recently deployed on the high profile bridge collapse on the M20 to monitor the remaining pier to ensure rescue workers were protected during the recovery and clean up phase.
The co-founder of WASP Rescue, Matt Keogh, said: “This was our first-ever show. There were a lot of people there who need this equipment. I could spend six months travelling the country to speak to all the people I’ve spoken to in the last two days, including Fire and Rescue Services from all over the UK. It’s money well invested in my opinion.”
Another company making its UK debut was Dechoker. Alan Walton, director of European operations for the specialist business, stated: “The Emergency Services Show was an outstanding success for ourselves and our distributors, Pro-Training Europe and the Community Heartbeat Trust. The level of interest in our life-saving Dechoker Anti-Choking Device was phenomenal. We’ll certainly be present at the 2017 show.”
Showcase for successful partnership working
Successful partnerships between the Emergency Services and other agencies were showcased within the seminar programmes and on the exhibition stands. In the Learning Zone (curated and inspired by JESIP and the National Operational Guidance Programme), senior figures from the fire, police and ambulance services shared their experiences of co-responding to incidents including the Bosley Mill fire, the Christmas 2015 floods and the Shoreham air crash.
Meanwhile, at the entrance to the show, Excelerate handed over a joint Command Unit to the Northamptonshire Police and Fire and Rescue Service. The new Command Unit will provide a base for commanders when in attendance at large-scale or major incidents.
All of Excelerate’s integrated technologies have been designed to facilitate joint working, while enhancing operational efficiency and further supporting resilience for Northamptonshire’s incident response capability.
Given the Government’s drive towards greater collaboration and sharing of resources across the Emergency Services, this new joint Command Unit is at the very forefront of this transition.
In the ICT Innovation Theatre, the session on the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) presented by the Home Office, Motorola and EE attracted a great deal of interest. The ESMCP is the programme designed to replace Airwave and provide integrated critical voice and broadband data services for the three Emergency Services.
The College of Paramedics area was expanded this year, in turn enabling over 700 people to attend the CPD sessions held on the first day alone. Elsewhere, the new Trauma Care and Education Zone offered further CPD opportunities through four skills stations covering airway management, haemorrhage control, splinting and immobilisation and burns. Physio Control’s own Learning Centre also proved to be very popular.
David Brown, event director for The Emergency Services Show, enthused: “The Emergency Services Show represents the UK’s largest multi-agency gathering, and it continues to grow. This year’s event perfectly captured the spirit of collaboration between the Emergency Services and the vital role played by new technologies. We were delighted with the way in which our new features and exhibitors were received, and are grateful for the support of the many organisations and sponsors who’ve helped us to ensure that the show evolves each year. We’re already brimming with ideas in terms of how we can further build on this progress in terms of next year’s event.”
The Emergency Services Show will return to Hall 5 at the NEC on 20 September 2017. Entry to the exhibition and seminars will continue to be free of charge. Further details will soon be published at www.emergencyuk.com