OSCE-REEFMC-GFMC Awareness Materials



OSCE and GFMC Activities in the South Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Central Asia
2006-2018


Community Awareness in Ukraine and Belarus

A number of awareness-raising and information materials on wildfire risk reduction in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone were developed by the OSCE in co-operation with the REEFMC and the GFMC in the frame of the project Improving Radiological and Environmental Awareness in Territories Affected by the Chernobyl Accident in Belarus and Ukraine with a Focus on Wildfire Management at the request of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine and the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management.

Ukraine

Belarus


Images from South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project

Gender Related Images from South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lost Acres Fire Women’s Auxiliary celebrates 65 years

Female fire fighter fights different fight

07 August 2012

published by www.recorderonline.com


USA — Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on a local woman’s battle against the forest service. Part II will look at other charges of sexual misconduct within the forest service.

Alicia Dabney, 30, became a fire fighter because she wanted to help others. She believed that fire fighters were heros, women and men who had dedicated their lives to ensuring the safety of others. Becoming a fire fighter for the Sequoia National Forest was a job that not only saw her following her childhood dreams, but inspired her three sons. They would point to Smoky the Bear, Dabney said, and say “my mom works for him.”

Or, in this case, worked. Dabney is no longer an employee of the Forest Service.

The agency said it is because she omitted information when filling out her “Declaration for Federal Employment Form OF-306” three years ago, when she originally applied for a position with the Forest Service. Dabney and the civil rights advocate who is helping her with her case, Lesa Donnelly, believe it is because she did not quietly turn over and allow her coworkers to get away with sexual harassment, assault and discrimination.

“I want to go to work tomorrow, but I want to do it an honest way,” Dabney said in an interview conducted a week before her termination. “I just want some kind of help to make them aware that they are caught. Enough is enough.”

According to Dabney, she has been fighting a battle nearly since the time she began to work for the Forest Service in 2010, to defend herself against sexual misconduct from her coworkers in the form of sexual harassment and physical assault. Dabney has filed numerous Equal Employment Opportunity complaints against the forest service, and has gone through five investigations into the allegations she has raised.

Dabney was aware the end was coming, however: She’d been placed on administrative leave by the Forest Supervisor for the Sequoia National Forest, Kevin Elliot, in May.

“They are already treating me like I am nothing. They won’t return phone calls. I call in for a supervisor and he is just telling people ‘don’t talk to her,’” she said, adding that those who would talk to her told her it was in her best interest to “speak to Kevin (Elliot).”

Neither Elliot or the local public relations officer, Mary Chislock, were able to comment. Instead, inquiries about the case, Chislock said, were to be directed to John C. Heil III, the press officer for the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service. According to Heil, “it is the policy of the USDA and the Forest Service to provide a workplace environment that is free of harassment.”

Heil said the Forest service has taken Dabney’s “concerns” very seriously and have either investigated or are currently investigating the incidents. As far as the results of these investigations, Heil would not say, except that “appropriate action is taken to provide a work environment where all employees feel safe and valued.”

The two women had suspected that Dabney would eventually be terminated, and were already preparing for an appeal.

“They didn’t realize that she had kept all of her documentation,” Donnelly said of Dabney’s efforts to fill out her application.

When Dabney originally saw the accusation, it seemed laughably illogical to her.

“Three years later? I hate to insult their intelligence, but nowhere in the government do you get away with lying on your background for that long,” Dabney said.

Dabney’s termination, effective July 2, is a “trumped up charge,” Donnelly said, and was created just to “discredit her.”

Dabney began to work for the forest service as an apprentice fire fighter at McClellan Airforce Base Wildland Fighterfighter Apprenticeship academy and immediately found herself being harassed. She filed a complaint, which was investigated while she completed the first half of her training. That fall, after going into the advanced level class, she found that her efforts to speak out had only made her life worse. The harassment increased, she fought back, and eventually she was kicked out of the academy in retaliation, she said.

After that, she was assigned to the Springville Work Station, where she said the harassment followed her. Dabney continued to file Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints, and in doing so, opened the door for an escalating wave of verbal, emotional and physical abuse from her superior and coworkers, she charges.

Along with documents that prove she didn’t lie on her application, she has pictures, recorded audio, and a large amount of correspondence to back up her sexual harassment and assault complaints. Her accusations include that her coworkers wrote “Alicia Dabney is a whore” on a pile of papers which they tossed around the engine bay for her to see. She says she has received sexually explicit phone calls. One of the most humiliating things, however, she said, was having to urinate along the side of the road in front of her all-male crew after they refused to stop at an establish rest room.

Her supervisor has not only ignored her, he has denied her training and new equipment because she is “too fat,” and forced her to report the start of her period each month, she charges. Dabney also said that on an assignment in Texas, this supervisor also spat in her face, and then later tried to rape her. He isn’t the only one who allegedly has assaulted her. She said she was later assaulted by a male co-worker at her workstation.

Dabney has witnesses for many of the incidents, though most of them have not come forward, except for two men who saw the later assault. She was bending down and as she did so, one of the men she worked with straddled her neck and head, forced her to the ground, and “rode her like a horse” as Donnelly described it. Dabney still becomes emotional thinking about this humiliation, and the fact that even though action was taken she feels that she has not yet received justice.

“Every investigation they’ve done has been inconclusive,” Donnelly said. “The only accountability they have done is the man who assaulted her.”

Donnelly went on to say that the man was given the option to resign, which he did. Operating procedure for the complaint would have seen him put on paid administrative leave while the complaint was investigated, as he was the one who committed a violent action. Instead, Dabney was placed on paid administrative leave, and not allowed to work at all, which Donnelly also explained, was against standard operating procedure.

Those who have been placed on paid administrative leave for non-violent causes are supposed to continue working, so that they would continue to produce some sort of work for the salary they are continuing to draw off of taxpayer’s money. It is this that upsets Dabney the most. She requested a transfer from Elliot and was denied it, and staying at home for months, being unable to work, was driving her “crazy” she said.

“My biggest thing right now is that I’m stuck at home on taxpayers dollars when I’m capable of working,” Dabney said.

So, she continues to pursue her case not only for herself, but her children and others who may have been mistreated.

“They are totally trying to sweep it under the rug. I need help to get the story out there, and to let people know that there are major violations going on and that there is a cover-up,” Dabney said. “I know if we go public, more people who we can’t get in touch with will come out. I have seen females get ran out of there, and I am hoping that they come out and talk about their investigations, how they filed and the Forest Service fired them and got rid of them. I just want it to stop.”
 


 

 

 

Images from South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project

Gender Related Images from South Sumatra Forest Fire Management Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


IAWF Founder Dies After Long Illness

IAWF Founder Dies After Long Illness

12 August 2010

published bywww.firechief.com


USA — Andi Koonce passed away on July 24 after a long illness. She was instrumental in the early formation of the International Association of Wildland Fire, first by conceiving the professional organization, and later by serving as one of the first members of the board of directors in 1990. Koonce helped to formulate the idea of a high-quality, refereed scientific journal to help establish fire science as an international recognized discipline, eventually resulting in the development of what is now the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

Koonce earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Arizona State University in 1973, and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 1981. Her areas of graduate study included forest science, forest ecology and forest pathology; her graduate research examined the interaction between fire and dwarf mistletoe in ponderosa pine. Upon graduation, Koonce went to teach at the National School of Forest Sciences in Honduras and directed a tree improvement program in tropical pines. When the Honduran school closed, she returned to the United States and joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point to teach forestry courses. While there in 1984, she established the Fire Science Center, which supported research and extension activities related to prescribed fire in the Midwestern. In 1988 she left academia and joined Forest Service Research as Project Leader of the Prescribed Fire Research Unit at the Forest Fire Laboratory in Riverside, Calif. — becoming one of the first female U.S. Forest Service project leaders in fire research.

In addition to her research, Koonce was a strong supporter of efforts to improve and increase the roles of women in fire research. When the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station eliminated several lines of research due to funding reductions in 1996, Koonce joined the Fire and Aviation Management Staff in the Forest Service’s National Office. She provided expertise in fire planning and fuels in this capacity for several years before moving to Milwaukee, Wis. to work as a fire staff specialist in the Forest Service’s Eastern Regional Office. In this capacity she was able to provide technical expertise to the national forests in support of prescribed burning and fuels management in this 20-state area. After several years in Milwaukee, she returned to California where she was initially a Forest Pathologist on the San Bernardino National Forest, and later oversaw the Forest Health Protection Program for the four national forests in Southern California. Koonce always maintained her interest in tropical forestry and her last research project involved fire damage in Caribbean pine plantations in Nicaragua.


Women at the Home Front

Women at the Home Front

09 March 2011

published bywww.braidwoodtimes.com.au


Australia — The Mongarlowe Volunteer Bushfire Brigade’s workshop on bushfire preparedness for women on Sunday 6 March was enthusiastically supported by nearly 30 participants. The keynote speaker, Jenny Filmer OAM, presented a lively talk, ‘When the Fire Comes to You’, which covered a wide range of topics including communication strategies, equipping a household for fire and dealing with children and pets. Who could forget her story of bringing the pony into the house to protect it from fire? Jenny is an experienced volunteer firefighter and community educator, well known for her women’s workshops, and author of Fire Fighting for Non Fire Fighting Women. She donated 2 copies of her book, which were given as lucky door prizes.

Jenny’s talk was preceded by a short film, The Story of the Tenterden Fire, which documents the experiences of 5 women on different properties in a rural area of Western Australia, during severe fires in 2003.

Sandra Hand, from Farringdon Brigade, gave a presentation how to prepare a fire plan. Gail Nichols, from Mongarlowe Brigade, led a session on preparing and equipping properties for bushfire.

A highlight of the day, following the barbeque lunch, was the Firefighting Fashion Parade, during which Di Bott and Vera Sapov modelled examples of what to wear and not to wear when dealing with bushfire.

The afternoon concluded with demonstrations of fire pump operation, and all participants had hands-on experience at starting and running pumps.

Participants gave enthusiastic feedback. It was clear the workshop had fulfilled a need in the community. Thanks to Mongarlowe Brigade members for their efforts in staging the workshop, to Jenny Filmer, Sandra Hand and officers from the RFS Lake George Zone who attended.


IAWF Founder Dies After Long Illness

IAWF Founder Dies After Long Illness

12 August 2010

published bywww.firechief.com


USA — Andi Koonce passed away on July 24 after a long illness. She was instrumental in the early formation of the International Association of Wildland Fire, first by conceiving the professional organization, and later by serving as one of the first members of the board of directors in 1990. Koonce helped to formulate the idea of a high-quality, refereed scientific journal to help establish fire science as an international recognized discipline, eventually resulting in the development of what is now the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

Koonce earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Arizona State University in 1973, and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 1981. Her areas of graduate study included forest science, forest ecology and forest pathology; her graduate research examined the interaction between fire and dwarf mistletoe in ponderosa pine. Upon graduation, Koonce went to teach at the National School of Forest Sciences in Honduras and directed a tree improvement program in tropical pines. When the Honduran school closed, she returned to the United States and joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point to teach forestry courses. While there in 1984, she established the Fire Science Center, which supported research and extension activities related to prescribed fire in the Midwestern. In 1988 she left academia and joined Forest Service Research as Project Leader of the Prescribed Fire Research Unit at the Forest Fire Laboratory in Riverside, Calif. — becoming one of the first female U.S. Forest Service project leaders in fire research.

In addition to her research, Koonce was a strong supporter of efforts to improve and increase the roles of women in fire research. When the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station eliminated several lines of research due to funding reductions in 1996, Koonce joined the Fire and Aviation Management Staff in the Forest Service’s National Office. She provided expertise in fire planning and fuels in this capacity for several years before moving to Milwaukee, Wis. to work as a fire staff specialist in the Forest Service’s Eastern Regional Office. In this capacity she was able to provide technical expertise to the national forests in support of prescribed burning and fuels management in this 20-state area. After several years in Milwaukee, she returned to California where she was initially a Forest Pathologist on the San Bernardino National Forest, and later oversaw the Forest Health Protection Program for the four national forests in Southern California. Koonce always maintained her interest in tropical forestry and her last research project involved fire damage in Caribbean pine plantations in Nicaragua.


Film recounts firefighter crew of Apache women

Film recounts firefighter crew of Apache women

27 March 2011

published bywww.azstarnet.com


USA — Tucsonan Sande Zeig, who served as the Loft Cinema’s director and programmer from 2002 to 2006, has directed an hourlong documentary that will air on KUAT at 9 p.m. Monday.

 

Zeig’s film, “Apache 8” – which was sponsored in part by the University of Arizona’s Hanson Film Institute and produced by the institute’s director, Vicky Westover – tells the story of a wildland firefighter crew that consists of White Mountain Apache women. Zeig blends archival footage with interviews with four members from different generations, letting them recount their stories as they traveled the state and country battling wildfires.

 

The women describe the hardships they’ve faced on the job as well as the senses of pride and kinship they received.

 

“When I started making the film, I thought it was going to be about this all-women crew, ‘Apache 8,’ but it became something else, something more,” said Zeig via email. “I discovered, during the making of the film, that each of the women we featured have all excelled and been honored with community and national recognition. I had no idea when we started.”


Women at the Home Front

Women at the Home Front

09 March 2011

published bywww.braidwoodtimes.com.au


Australia — The Mongarlowe Volunteer Bushfire Brigade’s workshop on bushfire preparedness for women on Sunday 6 March was enthusiastically supported by nearly 30 participants. The keynote speaker, Jenny Filmer OAM, presented a lively talk, ‘When the Fire Comes to You’, which covered a wide range of topics including communication strategies, equipping a household for fire and dealing with children and pets. Who could forget her story of bringing the pony into the house to protect it from fire? Jenny is an experienced volunteer firefighter and community educator, well known for her women’s workshops, and author of Fire Fighting for Non Fire Fighting Women. She donated 2 copies of her book, which were given as lucky door prizes.

Jenny’s talk was preceded by a short film, The Story of the Tenterden Fire, which documents the experiences of 5 women on different properties in a rural area of Western Australia, during severe fires in 2003.

Sandra Hand, from Farringdon Brigade, gave a presentation how to prepare a fire plan. Gail Nichols, from Mongarlowe Brigade, led a session on preparing and equipping properties for bushfire.

A highlight of the day, following the barbeque lunch, was the Firefighting Fashion Parade, during which Di Bott and Vera Sapov modelled examples of what to wear and not to wear when dealing with bushfire.

The afternoon concluded with demonstrations of fire pump operation, and all participants had hands-on experience at starting and running pumps.

Participants gave enthusiastic feedback. It was clear the workshop had fulfilled a need in the community. Thanks to Mongarlowe Brigade members for their efforts in staging the workshop, to Jenny Filmer, Sandra Hand and officers from the RFS Lake George Zone who attended.


Fire awareness for women

Fire awareness for women

27 April 2011

published bywww.begadistrictnews.com.au


Australia — A DOZEN ladies gathered at the Cobargo Fire Shed recently for the Bega Valley’s first Women’s Fire Awareness Workshop.

Fire mitigation officer Garry Cooper and community safety assistant Robin Philp have been aware that when talk turns to bushfire, it seems to become “men’s business”.

However, it is often women who are at home during the day, sometimes without a car, looking after children or elderly relatives and they have been left out of the loop when it comes to being prepared for a bushfire.

The workshop was designed to break down some barriers and give women the tools they need to make plans and decisions when a serious fire turns up in their neighbourhood.

Women do not have to be fire fighters – they just need to know what needs to be done.

Robyn Reynolds, who is a long term member of the Pambula Rural Fire Service Brigade, opened the workshop by sharing her experiences as a women fire fighter and was able to give the ladies plenty of practical advice.

The workshop covered topics such as what equipment might be needed, appropriate clothing, how to manage the fire pump, preparation and on going maintenance of the home and importantly, establishing neighbourhood networks and where to get reliable information during a fire event.

The men were on hand to cook the lunch; the food was great and they also helped with some practical demonstrations with fire and equipment.

Follow up neighbourhood meetings have been requested by the ladies so that planning and sharing local knowledge can continue.

Community safety assistants will carry out home inspections where requested and help set up a local networks.

With information and continued support these women will be able to prepare for the fire season with a well thought out Bush Fire Survival Plan and be confident about making the right decisions for their family and their home.

Women across the Bega Valley are encouraged to get in touch with Bega Fire Control if they would like a workshop in their neighbourhood.