Interschutz USA 2020 Postponed

By Ricochet Gear September 02, 2020
To say that 2020 has been a roller-coaster ride would be an understatement. Besides the overtly established health issues and the tragic loss of life, we all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused hardships for people and businesses of all kinds globally and continues to today. 

At Ricochet's factory in Philadelphia, which specializes in manufacturing, we were not necessarily spared either. We had to take some time to slow production down and ensure our workers' safety for the foreseeable future. Being a business that depends on in-person customizations and labor, we weren't able to "go remote." We also knew that things like structural fires and emergency medical calls don't just go away during a pandemic, so we needed to keep designing our gear for those heroic professionals. 

Overall, it became clear: we had to adapt. 

From an operational standpoint, we knew that after taking much-needed steps like monitoring team member temperatures, implementing social distancing standards, and providing team members with the needed PPE, we could get back to being close to full speed. After months of these practices, we are now closer than ever to being back on track crafting quality firefighting and emergency medical gear for which we are known.

We also added some gear lines, such as our Face Masks and Level 1 Gowns, to help those workers on the frontlines battling the virus too. 

With that said, we are fortunate that we could get back to work in an industry needing more support than ever before, and completely acknowledge that our story is NOT universal. Several sectors are still struggling to get back to work again... if they have a business to return to at all.

One industry that has seen a particularly hard hit, that Ricochet was venturing into in a significant way for the first time this year, was the events space. 

When Interschutz USA first approached us about becoming a top co-sponsor for their FIRST EVER event in the United States, we were thrilled. For years, Interschutz has thrown the absolute best firefighting conventions and shows in the world, but they were all focused in Europe. For 2020, they decided to take their expertise abroad, and wouldn't you know it; they thought that Philadelphia, our home town, would be the best place for the event!

Of course, now we all know a big part of the middle of the story here. Most events across all industries for 2020 have been canceled or postponed until at least 2021 due to COVID-19.

While Interschutz USA held on as long as they could for this year to go off as planned- they too have decided to postpone until October 13-16, 2021. After exploring options with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Fire Department, and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, this is the safest decision, with the best interest of all attendees, sponsors, and visitors in mind.

With such events as in-person training, speeches, gear showcases, and more on the docket for Interschutz USA, we are disappointed we will be missing out on it this year too. But, know that Interschutz USA 2021 will crush it and that all of these experiences will be best dived-in on when they can be appreciated safely and securely.

Even though the show is postponed and Interschutz USA has opted not to go full digital (again, the experience wouldn't be the same), they HAVE planned a digital outreach program. It will include, amongst other things, a few upcoming webinars which were to originally be presented at the show, that you can register for and be a part of still.

Next week, September 9th at 7 PM EDT, they are hosting a "Recruiting During Times of Crisis" webinar! From the Interschutz USA Website: 

This special Interschutz USA webinar of "Ask the Recruiters" video podcast show will address volunteer firefighter & EMS recruitment and retention challenges during COVID-19 and how it has caused volunteer organizations to get creative in how they market to, interact with, onboard, and train new volunteers and those candidates who were in process pre-pandemic.

Interacting with online participants, hosts Tiger and Matt will share unique solutions they've discovered being implemented across the nation. Come prepared to respond with ideas to share and questions to "Ask the Recruiters!"

And then two weeks later, on September 23rd, the following webinar on "Diversity & Inclusion":

This webinar will feature a panel of chiefs, moderated by Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, sharing best practices and experiences on Diversity & Inclusion.

You can register ahead of time for both webinars by heading to the Interschutz USA website here: 

We know that the in-person convention would have been ideal and the perfect stage for these presentations and all of the other demonstrations planned. Ricochet entirely backs Interschutz USA and all of the state officials involved in the postponement, because if there is anything that we believe and have seen worldwide, it's that unity and safety needs to be practiced by EVERYONE to ensure COVID-19 is a thing of the past.

For more information on the postponement, please click here: 

And for COVID-19 resources from Ricochet Manufacturing, please head here.