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From small beginnings to the world's leading trade fair

How the vfdb invented the trade fair "The Red Rooster" - and how it developed into INTERSCHUTZ

A success story that began around 70 years ago. It started in 1953 as a pure fire department trade fair under the name "Der Rote Hahn" and became the world's leading trade fair for fire protection, disaster control, rescue and safety: INTERSCHUTZ. Its "inventor" is the vfdb. From the very beginning, the mixture of commercial and non-material exhibitors has been unique. Our overview shows the development from the federal exhibition "The Red Rooster 1953" until now.

June 5-14, 1953:

Only three years after the foundation of the Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection (vfdb), the first trade exhibition "Der Rote Hahn" in Essen became a trend-setting event. During the eleven days of the trade fair from June 3 to 14, 75,000 visitors gained a comprehensive insight into the industry, and the vfdb became a pioneer and driving force for the other trade fairs. Fire director (ret.) August Ortloph, chairman of the vfdb, is thus considered one of the "inventors" of Interschutz. At that time, no one could have imagined that the concept of combining a non-material and commercial part with an attractive supporting program would become the recipe for success for all future trade fairs and the foundation stone for the world's leading trade fair "Interschutz".

June 21-July 2, 1961:

Together with the Cologne Trade Fair and Exhibition Company and the professional fire department, the vfdb organized the International Exhibition for Fire, Radiation and Disaster Protection "Interschutz - Der Rote Hahn". The concise name "Interschutz" was used for the first time at that time. The balance of that time: "On an exhibition area of about 80,000 square meters, the exhibition offered an overview of research problems and of facilities and protective measures of an organizational and equipment-technical nature that had not been shown before in this completeness.

June 24-July 2, 1972:

Eleven years later: the next "Interschutz - Der Rote Hahn" - this time in Frankfurt am Main. It was already considered the world's largest and most important exhibition of its kind. The industrial part was designed by Messe Frankfurt, the vfdb hosted the non-material part. The organization was in the hands of Chief Building Director Ernst Achilles and Chief Fire Officer Hans Wittenberg.

June 5-10, 1980:

After calls from the industry for a shortening of the interval had become louder and louder, the vfdb decided to hold another exhibition for fire and disaster protection after only eight years. The partner was Deutsche Messe AG, Hanover. Chief Fire Officer Rolf-Dieter Bräunig from the local professional fire department took over the organization of the idealistic part for the vfdb.

May 28-June 2, 1988:

As eight years before, this Interschutz was also a brilliant success. In addition to the new, close partnership between the vfdb and Deutsche Messe AG, the good cooperation with the Hanover Fire Department once again made a decisive contribution to this. With over 134,000 visitors, there was once again a record.

June 3-8, 1994:

Another record: 138,424 visitors. On a total net exhibition area of 91,374 square meters, they were able to obtain information from 990 exhibitors. There was also a considerable increase in the number of non-profit exhibitors. "The organizer, Deutsche Messe AG, and the conceptual sponsor, the vfdb, succeeded in demonstrating the capabilities of highly trained crews with state-of-the-art products through practical presentations and demonstrations," was praised in summary.

June 21-25, 2000:

Because of the German Fire Brigade Day in Augsburg, INTERSCHUTZ was also held there. The organizer remained Deutsche Messe AG, Hanover. With large personnel support of the fire department Augsburg and the national fire-brigade federation Bavaria organized leading fire director Rolf Dieter Bräunig from Hanover the idealistic part. In his foreword to the trade fair catalog, vfdb Chairman Hans Jochen Blätte wrote at the time: "The large Expo in Hanover shows the global trends with the theme of man, nature, technology. Interschutz, as the Expo's little and thoroughly mature sister, shows how safety can be presented for the ensemble of man, nature and technology."

June 6-11, 2005:

Back in Hannover, Interschutz was held for the first time together with the trade exhibition for police and homeland security, Interpolice. 1,385 exhibitors and around 140,000 visitors summed up the "tandem" trade show. The patronage of the entire event was assumed at the time by Federal Minister of the Interior Otto Schily.

June 7-12, 2010:

On the occasion of the 28th German Fire Brigade Day there was the INTERSCHUTZ in Leipzig, organized by the Deutsche Messe AG. Compared to 2005, there was once again a significant growth. At that time, a competition for the "Tüftlerpreis" (tinkerer's prize), which was announced by the Feuerwehr- Magazins (fire department magazine) and the vfdb, attracted a large number of participants.

June 8-13, 2015:

In its then 62-year history, Interschutz reached a new dimension as the world's leading trade show. Over the six days, it attracted 157,000 visitors (2010: 123,266 visitors) from all parts of the world. One topic was increasingly taking center stage: digitization. At the time, no one could have guessed that a worldwide pandemic would disrupt plans for the next INTERSCHUTZ. This was to take place from June 15 to 20, 2020.

June 20-25, 2022:

Meanwhile, scientists around the world have recognized: The corona virus is here to stay and will probably continue to mutate. But the decline in the number of infections and the knowledge of how to deal with the disease make larger events possible again. Together with the German Firefighters' Day, which takes place every ten years, this INTERSCHUTZ again promised to be a highlight for the industry.