Reshaping rescue operations with ZIEGLER

April 17, 2024

FSJA dives into ZIEGLER’s digital advancements and the HYBRIDdrive, transforming the firefighting landscape

In the dynamic world of firefighting, where every second counts, staying connected, informed, and environmentally conscious is paramount.

With the advent of advanced technologies, firefighting manufacturers are constantly innovating to meet the evolving needs of fire departments worldwide.

One of the leading brands in this charge is ZIEGLER, originally founded in Germany in 1891 and now operating worldwide.

Since 2019, ZIEGLER has been at the forefront of digitalization, connectivity, and sustainability in the firefighting industry, offering groundbreaking solutions like Z-Connect and the Z6 HYBRIDDrive technology.

Johannes Taglang, Product Manager Digital Products at ZIEGLER, says: “ZIEGLER offers holistic digital assistance concepts by interconnecting and digitizing all emergency and rescue services across Europe.

“Through this innovative system Z-Connect, ZIEGLER provides a diverse range of telematic hardware linked to a cloud service enabling an astonishingly wide array of applications for nearly every conceivable use case.

“These digital products and services support the brave emergency crews who risk their lives daily to save others.

“While vehicle and fleet management, as well as maintenance assistance, are often taken for granted, a fully automated digital rescue map and disruptive technologies like V2X are truly revolutionary.

“V2X influences traffic and infrastructure, allowing features such as a digital rescue corridor or even preventing rear-end collisions by directly stopping cars.

“For the first time, infrastructure, vehicles, equipment, and personnel are seamlessly connected within a single ecosystem.”


One of the pillars of ZIEGLER’s innovation strategy is to ensure that the solutions are not just technologically advanced but also user-friendly and intuitive for firefighters on the ground.

It was only in 2020 that ZIEGLER released Z-Control of the latest generation.

With Z-Control of the latest generation, ZIEGLER has not only set high standards in terms of the first-class operation but in much more: Behind the operation system, there is a soft- and hardware technology which controls the products and vehicles digitally with an ‘Onboard’ network and also collects all data from numerous sensors centrally – of course compatible with CAN-Bus-systems of the chassis and FireCAN.

This is how the basic ability to analyze all trackable data and to share them via an interface was created in the system.

“In today’s rapidly evolving emergency landscape, the capability to access real-time data from fully connected assets, live streams and enriched information distinguishes an efficient firefighting operation from the rest”, says Taglang.

In today’s emergency scenarios, access to real-time data and information is crucial for effective decision-making and resource allocation.

Z-Connect, ZIEGLER’s proprietary management platform for vehicles, products and assets in real-time, revolutionizes firefighting and rescue management by providing comprehensive digital assistance solutions.

With Z-Connect, fire departments can seamlessly integrate their vehicles into a connected ecosystem, allowing for efficient resource utilization and streamlined operations during emergencies.

One of the key features of Z-Connect is its vehicle management module, which converts signals and messages from firefighting vehicles into actionable insights displayed on intuitive dashboards or accessible through API interfaces.

This real-time visibility into fleet operations enables fire departments to optimize vehicle usage, track maintenance schedules, and ensure readiness for emergency response.

In addition to vehicle management, Z-Connect offers Z-Remote, a remote diagnosis service that allows for over-the-air analysis, predictive maintenance, and efficient troubleshooting of firefighting vehicles systems worldwide.

By leveraging Z-Remote, fire departments can minimize downtime, expedite repairs, and maximize operational capability, ultimately enhancing their effectiveness in firefighting missions.

The IMBOS platform

ZIEGLER is, ZIEGLER is, with Eurocommand, MP BOS, Prodico and ZF founder and member of th IMBOS platform.

IMBOS unites competencies, responsibilities and abilities from the sectors leadership support and connectivity products for rescue services all over Europe.

Together it is possible to collect and to view all of the information live, for example the live-overview of the vehicles and operation forces, live-data of patients, but also the condition overview of the vehicles as well as the management of the operation forces, vehicles and devices.

IMBOS is a neutral platform and is accessible for all service providers in the sector authorities and organizations with security tasks.

The system is designed as a primary information source for the BOS sector, including data from vehicles, equipment and operation forces.

It offers localization and identification in real time, combined with background information.

Beyond that, numerous additional functions are available.

Green, fast, and reliable

“At ZIEGLER, sustainability is not just a buzzword; it’s a commitment to future generations. The Z6 HYBRIDdrive is a testament to our dedication to environmental protection,” says Fabian Schmidt, Product Manager ARFF at ZIEGLER.

In the pursuit of environmental sustainability and operational efficiency, ZIEGLER has introduced the revolutionary Z6 HYBRIDdrive technology in 2022.

Designed specifically for Airfield Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicles (ARFF), the Z6 HYBRIDdrive combines electric and combustion engine power in an intelligent network, offering unparalleled performance and eco-friendliness.

“With the Z6 HYBRIDdrive, we’re not just meeting regulatory standards; we’re setting new benchmarks for performance and environmental impact in the industry”, Schmidt says.

With three different drive modes — pure electric, conventional diesel, or hybrid—the Z6 HYBRIDdrive provides versatility and reliability in any operational scenario.

During routine movements or control drives, the vehicle operates emission-free, contributing to cleaner airport environments and reducing carbon footprint.

Moreover, the Z6 HYBRIDdrive boasts unrivaled acceleration values during emergency response, comparable to those of traditional diesel-powered vehicles.

This ensures swift compliance to specified intervention times, critical for saving lives and minimizing property damage during fire emergencies.

ZIEGLER’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond technological innovation to operational reliability and customer satisfaction.

By leveraging tried-and-tested system components, the Z6 HYBRIDdrive guarantees high performance, optimal spare parts availability, and compliance with industry standards and norms.

The Z6 HYBRIDdrive represents a paradigm shift in ARFF vehicle technology, offering a perfect blend of environmental consciousness, operational efficiency, and reliability.

With ZIEGLER’s pioneering solutions like Z-Connect, Z-Remote and the Z6 HYBRIDdrive, fire departments can embrace the future of firefighting with confidence, knowing that they have the tools and technologies to overcome any challenge they may face.

The first customer to receive this vehicle will be Cranfield Airport.

As one of the few universities in the world with its own airport, it is a pioneer in aerospace technology and is working to tackle the challenges of digital aviation and rethink the airports, airlines, airspace management and, above all, aircraft of the future.

The vehicle will be delivered in June 2024 this year and ZIEGLER will of course report as soon as it’s in the hands of the new customer.

Shaping the future

Max Ruhdorfer Group Director Product Strategy, Design & Innovation at ZIEGLER, comments: “Innovation and usability is the core of everything we do at ZIEGLER. We’re not just building firefighting vehicles; we’re shaping the future of firefighting.”

In the ever-evolving landscape of firefighting, innovation is necessary everywhere.

ZIEGLER’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of fire truck technology is evident in their groundbreaking solutions like Z-Connect and the Z6 HYBRIDdrive.

By embracing digitalization, connectivity, and sustainability, ZIEGLER is empowering fire departments worldwide to respond more effectively to emergencies, minimize environmental impact, and enhance operational efficiency.

As we look towards the future, it’s clear that ZIEGLER will continue to revolutionize firefighting technology, ensuring that firefighters have the tools they need to save lives and protect communities.

This article was originally published in the April 2024 issue of Fire & Safety Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

Read Next

Subscribe Now