Large crews of dedicated Slovenian volunteers powered an amazing week at CTIF 2022 in Celje
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According to the locals, Slovenia has the highest number of firefighters per capita in the world. Judging from the amazing efforts and numbers of volunteers helping to make the CTIF 2022 week run smoothly, it is obvious firefighting is truly a way of life here! A big heartfelt thank you to all involved, both locally and internationally!
Several events were taking place this past week: Not only did thousands of youth and adults from around the world arrive with their supporters and fans in the audience, we also held Delegates Assembly on Wednesday July 20th, as well as several other official functions running throughout the week - including a meeting of the CTIF Executive Committee (our governing board) in City Hall on Tuesday.
See the live stream and videos from the CTIF Firefighters Olympics in Celje! - it is also possible to watch the re-runs on both Facebook and YouTube. https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnS6xnv0BN3rZjSIM0yZ960_zM8Ywj1Tz
"This is a once in a lifetime event for us and it is a huge honour to host CTIF 2022 in our country. Firefighting is a way of life for us, and everyone wants to be a part of this event to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible".
During the week, there was a heat dome hitting southern Europe, and Celje had up 36 C / 97 F at times in the afternoons towards the latter part of the week. Airports around the world have also been in a state of crisis for several weeks, and forest fires have been raging from Greece in the south to the UK in the north due to the extreme temperatures affecting Europe this summer.
Our hearts go out also to our friends and delegates in Iran and Senegal who are currently experiencing catastrophic flooding during the extensive extreme weather events of summer 2022.
Slovenia did not have to deal with any major forest fires as of the weekend - however, already on Monday July 18th, the bad news rolled in: A large, uncontrolled forest fire in Kraš (near the border with Italy and Croatia) needed urgent attention from Slovenian fire crews, including emergency evacuations of four villages. Therefore, by Tuesday, many of the volunteers who were dedicated drivers in the roles of getting delegates and honoured guests to and from the airport, and other locations in the area, now had to be reassigned to fight the forest fires. This meant even more work for the volunteer drivers who were left working in the Celje area.
Like one of our dedicated drivers said during one of many car rides during the past week : "This is a once in a lifetime event for us and it is a huge honour to host CTIF2022 in our country. Firefighting is a way of life for us, and everyone wants to be a part of this event to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible".
From all of CTIF, a huge THANK YOU to all of you amazing, dedicated firefighters (career and volunteer) and others who dedicated a large part of your holidays for this event!
To those of you fighting fires in Slovenia and around the world, we sincerely say good luck and let´s all come together throughout the coming year. Let´s stay strong, and we are always the strongest together!
To quote CTIF President Milan Dubravac´ Opening Speech at Delegates Assembly 2022; "It is only by coming together to share experiences and network that can we will get through the difficult times we have ahead of us".
Stay tuned to CTIF.org! We will continue to publish more visual material from all these events in weeks and months to come!
Baggage delays caused disruptions and many contingency plans
Several delegates and functioneers for Delegates Assembly had issues with delayed baggage, and some had to improvise with their formal clothing. The technical crew luckily received their equipment already on Monday after a day delay. After an intense day setting up in Celje´s City Hall "Celskij Dom" , the City of Celje offered an amazing opening reception at a castle overlooking the city from above. On Tuesday night, Celje City Hall hosted the traditional Gala Dinner for the National Delegates.
DA 2022, hook ladder competitions and the Grand Opening Ceremony on Wednesday night
On Wednesday, the day opened with Delegates Assembly at City Hall in the centre of Celje. 68 delegates were present physically, with 21 member countries in the room, and 5 countries present on the online internet TV stream provided by CTIF´s own video crew, in cooperation with local A/V technicians.
The numbers of member nation delegates able to travel has understandably declined somewhat since pre-covid times, and the very busy airports during this spring and summer has of course not helped - so therefor CTIF wants to sincerely thank those present, and we also sincerely hope conditions for travelling and networking will improve in coming months.
To quote CTIF president Milan Dubravac in his official Presidential Activity Report on DA 2022. "In the meanwhile, we encourage all members to continue to use the opportunity which modern video conferencing technology has offered us".
While Delegates Assembly finished up, the hugely popular hook ladder competition was held in the afternoon at the Celje Stadium Kladivar during the afternoon. The evening continued with the amazing Official Opening Ceremony at the main Celje Z´dežele stadium. It was an incredible show as usual , with the added plus of a very technically advanced live stream by a large crew, broadcasting the events through the week.
"Fire Combat" with teams in full turnout gear finished off Thursday
Thursday was all dedicated to Youth Competitions, and a strong crowd of youth supporters were cheering on from the stage. By midday, CTIF president Milan Dubravac handed out medal to winners of various categories in sections of the competitions already finished at that point.
In the evening, the "Fire Combat Competition" was held at the Celje Fairgrounds;. This is an adult sport (outside of the official program) where firefighting teams consisting of two partners compete in real operational techniques - including extinguishing with real hoses, climbing, repelling and rescue of victims - in full turnout gear and on BA-air.
Friday - adult Competitions and the Presentation of Nations Ceremony
As temperatures were rising, both physically and figuratively, Friday was the big day for the adult CTIF Competitions 2022. By the afternoon, huge crowds were cheering from the stands for the most popular sport, the "Traditional Competition". This hugely popular part of the adult competitions consists of a Dry Firefighting Attack where adult teams connect and pull hoses to and from pump stations - then followed by an obstacle relay race.
In the evening on Friday, all the youth teams and audience came together in the main city center of Celje to present their cultures of the various national teams in the ceremony of the "Presentation of Nations". This is always a wonderful opportunity for youth teams and others to network and get to know each other in a relaxed way.
Saturday - mixed adults and youths - adult Obstacle Relay Races
On Saturday, the competitions were gearing up for their last and final rounds. While the adult Traditional Competitions from Friday afternoon continued, obstacle relay races with both adult and youth teams continued on the running tracks.
On Saturday night the CTIF 2022 week ended with the elaborate show which was the Closing Ceremony of the CTIF Competitions 2022.
Slovenia, you have truly showed your best under difficult circumstances - firefighting is truly a way of life for your people and your nation!
Thank you to the Slovenian Fire Association, the Competitions Planning Committee, and everyone who made this amazing event come together!
For the full program of the event, please go to: https://ctif2022.com/en/