2021 - A challenging year in review - by CTIF President Milan Dubravac
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by MILAN DUBRAVAC, PRESIDENT OF CTIF
The 2020-21 year’s CTIF activities were strongly influenced by a world-wide pandemic, Corona Covid 19. In all countries we were facing different restrictions which affected our previous way of life.
Therefore most of CTIF activities in past year were conducted online or from a distance by other means. During the last fews months, we have slowly started to return back to normal thanks to vaccinations progressing in our member countries. This means hopefully that the high levels of restrictions we have seen recently will not need to be in place anymore.
Due to the last months development of the overall situation in many countries we decided to once again return to organizing a physical Delegates Assembly. We managed to do this with great help from the French Firefighting Association who invited us to France. Unfortunately in some countries our colleagues were not able to join us physically therefore we are running this delegates Assembly also virtually.
The CTIF is the largest firefighting Association in the world. Our main goal is to share experiences and improve knowledge, develop methods and to avoid the same things needing to be reinvented everywhere, over and over again.
During the past year, the CTIF Executive Committee actively used online tools for meetings. From our last delegates Assembly in October 2020, we organized and conducted 20 online regular meetings to discuss and coordinate work. I would like to thanks all EC members for their dedicated presence at meetings and their active work. Also many commissions were using online tools for their meetings to continue the work until they can meet again physically. In order to increase cooperation between EC, Commissions and working groups, the EC organized a joint meeting with the Chairmen of the Commissions. This is something we will also arrange again in the future.
One of our basic goals in CTIF is to exchange the Knowledge. In past years we already organized two 'Fire, Rescue & New Challenges' seminars. This year we continued on virtually: in April 2021 we conducted a webinar with more than 100 participants. Topics presented were COVID-19 response within Fire Service in some countries (USA, Japan, Belgium) and we also covered some interesting presentations with lessons learned from past disasters. We also covered the topic of future technical and scientific challenges. We plan to organize a webinar also next year, in 2022, with a plan to return to arranging physical seminars again soon in the near future.
Agreements with other organisations to cooperate, so called Memorandums Of Understanding, MOUs: We have during recent years established several such agreements and some of them have been very successful, whilst a few have not yet worked quite as well. In December last year we signed a new Memorandum of understanding with IEDO (International Emergency Drone Organisation) to increase exchange of experience within countries also in that area of new technology.
Connected to the MOUs are often also written commitments of what we have agreed to do and what shall be accomplished. The Corona Pandemic has made some of these agreements difficult to fulfill , at least for the moment. Shortly, in the new year, we intend to renew some of those agreements.
Cooperation with both the Ordinary members and the Associate members in between the annual Delegate’s Assemblies is very important. CTIF should always remember that the National Committees are the real decision-makers in CTIF, but also those that can distribute knowledge and start activities in our member countries. Without strong working National Committees, the results will not reach the local Fire Services. Therefore we intend to increase this cooperation in the future.
In the past year we also worked on improving our webpage www.ctif.org . I think our webpage at the moment is very useful and user friendly. We followed the goal that Information you can find on our page should be useful for each firefighter. Therefore we are also planning a much more advanced translation tool to be launched in early 2022, in order to rach many more firefighters who may not be proficient in English. I think we are on good way that in the future our webpage can present all complexities of firefighting work and to present also the importance of the CTIF as an organisation.
Finally I want to thank everybody for their great work, the colleagues in EC, the National Committees, the Commissions & Working Groups, the CTIF Office, our Associated Members and everybody else who has been working hard for a better CTIF.
Milan Dubravac, President CTIF
Milan Dubravac work as a chief administrator for the Slovenian Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Agency and is also head of the Slovenian National Fire-fighting School in his home land of Slovenia. Mr Dubravac is one of the most long serving members of CTIF and has previously served as vice president of CTIF and been a member of various commissions, working groups and CTIF projects. He was elected President of CTIF at the virtual Delegates Assembly in October 2020.
Cover Photo( Above) CTIF president Milan Dubravac (Left) CTIF Secretary Neza Strmole (middle) and CTIF General Secretary Roman Sykora (right) at the opening of the French Firefighters´ Congress in Marseille, France, 2021.