Upon request of the CTIF General Secretariat in 2003, the GFMC facilitated the revival of the Forest Fires Commission. On 18 November 2003, at the occasion of the CTIF Congress hosted by Hungary in Budapest, Mr. Trond Rane, Sarpsborg Fire and Rescue Service, Norway, was appointed chair of the Forest Fires Commission. In addition to the online repository of documentation of the activities of the Commission (on the CTIF website from 2022 up to date and the Commission website hosted by the Croatian Fire Association from 2018 to 2022), the information provides a narrative of the phase of reactivation of the Commission in 2003 and after, with selected reports from activities conducted by GFMC or in which GFMC was involved directly or indirectly.
First Meeting 2003
In following-up the 2003 CTIF Congress, the first meeting of the reactivated Commission was held in Sarpsborg, Norway, 28-30 November 2003. Participants: GFMC and CTIF representatives of Norway, UK and Finland.
Subsequently, the second meeting, in conjunction with a first international meeting of the reactivated Commission, was planned to be held in Wels, Austria, on 09 June 2004. However, due to technical reasons this well-prepared meeting had to be cancelled.
The 3rd meeting of the Commission was hosted by GFMC in Freiburg, Germany, on 28-30 January 2005. Subsequently. Mr. Mark Jones, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, United Kingdom, accepted the position of chair of the Forest Fire Commission. In following up, the commission drafted a concept of training materials on forest fire management for the use of European Fire & Rescue Services and a European-wide survey of CTIF member Questionnaire to CTIF member nations and organizations on the subject of wildfires:
Development of the EuroFire Competency Standards and Training Materials
EuroFire was a two-year project implemented by GFMC, Rural Development Initiatives Ltd RDI and other partners, originally and primarily aimed to serve the CTIF Forest Fire Commission. The project was funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci program and implemented between 2006 and December 2008. The project brought together partners with international expertise and experience in wildfire and prescribed fire research, management, and training to develop, evaluate, produce and distribute new European-wide, multi-lingual online training resources.
The EuroFire project researched and reviewed competency-based wildfire and prescribed fire training systems, including best practice examples from Europe and around the world. This research informed the production of competency-based basic training resources, for use in European countries. The EuroFire training resources have been specifically developed to support firefighting personnel, the land-based sector, sectoral organizations and education, and training institutions.
The EuroFire outputs include competency standards, training modules, illustrations and general guidance on a competency-based training system. Training resources that can be used by industry practitioners to update their knowledge, learn new skills or increase their understanding of basic wildfire and prescribed fire management techniques.
After termination of the active project in 2008, the GFMC continued involving partners in countries / regions to around the world to translate and apply the EuroFire materials for creating a basis of international cross-boundary interoperability in fire management. 15years later, in 2023, the EuroFire materials – originally developed in English language – have been translated for the use in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil (Portuguese), Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Latin America (all Spanish-speaking countries), Malaysia, Mongolia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Nepal, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. These 23 language versions are serving, among other, 88 English-speaking countries, 20 Spanish-speaking countries and 29 French-speaking countries.
CTIF Forest Fire Commission members from the UK, Norway, Finland, Germany and Switzerland attended the meeting at GFMC.
Informal hand-over of chairmanship of the Commission from Mark Jones (right) to Havard Sormoen (left)
THW Germany joining CTIF
Meeting and consultations between the Presidents of the Federal German Agency for Technical Relief (Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk – THW), Albrecht Broemme, the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (CTIF), Tore Eriksson, and GFMC (Johann Georg Goldammer). THW handing over letter of accession CTIF as Associated Member; Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk, Berlin, Germany.
From left: Albrecht Broemme, Tore Eriksson and Johann Georg Goldammer. Photo: THW
Follow-up Commission Meetings with GFMC Involvement
The 2019 Fall Meeting of the CTIF Forest Fire Commission, hosted by the Escola Nacional de Bombeiros (ENB), Portugal, was attended by representatives of 11 European countries. Photos: CTIF and ENB.
Aerial Firefighting Conference Europe 2023
After the first Aerial Firefighting Conference, held in Greece in 2008, the Tangent Link Aerial Firefighting series returned to Greece for 2023 (Athens, 16-17 October 2023). The conference was co-chaired by Zisoula Ntasiou (National Coordination Center for Operations and Crisis Management, Hellenic Fire Corps and Secretary of the CTIF Forest Fires Commission) and Johann Georg Goldammer (Director, GFMC). The conferences was also addressed by CTIF President Milan Dubravac.