The entire CTIF History Commission and the Study Group as it stood in 2019.
17 Feb 2020

The new chair of the CTIF History Commission opens up for more multilingual and international cooperation in his first address to members


History Commission LogoThe CTIF History Commission has a new Chair person, Gerald Schimpf, who is now taking active charge of the Commission. Mr Schimpf is fluent in English which once again opens up possibilities for members who are not German speaking to participate in both the Commission and it´s study group.

The working language of the Commission will continue to be German for the time being, however, like in any Commission or working group, all member nations who can participate through an interpreter are welcome to do so. Mr Schimpf will personally help to translate between English and German for those who are more comfortable with English, if necessary. Delegates speaking other languages, who are not able to communicate in German or English, may need to bring their own interpreters. 

Working through an interpreter is common within CTIF and this way of working occurs with delegates on the highest levels when the need arises, so there is nothing unusual about this approach.

"It is most important to me that all countries feel welcome to become members and participate in the work of the History Commission and the Study Group. Language will not be a problem", says Gerald Schimpf. 

The decision to appoint Gerald Schimpf from the Professional Fire Brigade Vienna as Chair of the Commission was made by the CTIF Executive Committee  in the Autumn of 2019, however he has now made his first address to the members (below) and is ready to take on the work actively:

The German version to this document is also attached as PDF below in this post.


Gerald Schimpf, new chair of the CTIF History Commission. Contact Mr Schimpf here:

Gerald Schimpf, new chair of the CTIF History Commission. Contact Mr Schimpf here:


Dear members of the commission, dear members of the study group,

I am addressing you today for the first time in my role as chairman of the commission. As you know, I was proposed by the commission as the new chairman in Tulln and CTIF General Secretary Roman Sykora informed me on October 16th, 2019 that this proposal had been accepted by the Executive Committee. So, I officially took over this position. Since I have already announced in Tulln that I want to intensify communication in between our conferences, I would like to inform you about current topics today.

In December 2019, a session was held in Salzburg with Adolf Schinnerl, our honorary chairman. The participants were Ingo Valentini, as chairman of the study group, Christian Fastl, as national delegate from Austria (he will take care of the minutes in the future), Katrin Knaß-Roßmann as representative of the steering group and myself. Adolf Schinnerl gave us a good overview, especially of the early years of the commission and study group and in addition we were able to discuss various current topics. One of these was, for example, the content on the official CTIF homepage (www.ctif.org/index.php/commissionsand-groups/history-commission), where improvements and updates have already been made in both the German and English version. Currently changes are still taking place, if you notice any errors or have suggestions for improvement, please be so kind and let me know.

There are also news concerning museum certifications. I have appointed Katrin Knaß-Roßmann as the new head of the group. A certification was just held at the Central Museum for Disaster Relief in Budapest on January 27th and 28th, 2020. It was carried out by Katrin Knaß-Roßmann and Peter Schmid. I attended to see the certification process and Ingo Valentini joined us as well to make arrangements with Imre Berki and his team for this year's conference in Hungary. During the visit, Ingo Valentini and I also met the Vice President of the CTIF, László Bérczi, and we discussed the work of the commission, the study group and the upcoming conference in Hungary. In addition, we are currently working on the standardization of the certification process.

At the last meeting of the commission, a replacement for Johann Sallaberger in the area of the classification of historic fire engines was debated again and the nomination of possible candidates was requested by December 31st, 2019. Since there were no nominations up to this deadline, I actively searched for a replacement and our colleague Patrick Juncker from Luxembourg was ready to accept. In the future, he will coordinate the classifications at an international level. I would like to thank him very much for his willingness and commitment.

What else is going on in the CTIF? At the Executive Committee meeting in Luxembourg in November 2019, I was connected via video conference and was able to present our work and future goals. In the autumn of  2020, there will be a personal meeting of the Executive Committee and the chairmen of the Commissions in Slovenia where long-term goals of the CTIF and its commissions will be discussed and developed. As part of Interschutz in Hanover in June 2020, the delegates' assembly will take place and the 120th anniversary of the CTIF will be celebrated. I will represent the History Commission in both Slovenia and Hanover.

Finally, I would like to present a project from Austria that might be interesting for other countries as well. We are planning to hand over a copy of all conference volumes since 2010 to the Austrian National Library in Vienna, as these are not available there (with the exception of one volume). Since we all want our research work to be accessible to a wider audience, this step serves very well our purpose. I will provide my own volumes for this project, and in future the Austrian Fire Brigade Association will purchase an extra volume each year, which will then be handed over to the National Library.

This project might serve as a role model. On the one hand we make our work available to a wider audience and on the other hand we can sell more books.

These are all the news I have got for you at the moment. I will keep you updated.

Best regards

Gerald Schimpf, Chairman


The entire CTIF History Commission and the Study Group as it stood in late 2019.

The entire CTIF History Commission and the History Study Group as it stood in late 2019.



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