CTIF celebrates 124 years of promoting international cooperation in fire safety

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CTIF: A century and a quarter of global fire safety collaboration

The International Technical Committee for the Prevention and Extinction of Fire (CTIF) marks its 124th year, underscoring a rich history of fostering international cooperation in fire and rescue services.

Founded in 1900 in Paris, CTIF was established to promote and encourage collaboration among fire safety professionals worldwide, aiming to enhance the development and dissemination of firefighting knowledge and practices.

Milan Dubravac, president of CTIF, expressed the essence of this partnership: “International cooperation is about exchanging knowledge and avoiding unnecessary duplication.”

Advancements and contributions in fire safety

Over the years, CTIF has expanded its influence through 13 thematic commissions and working groups that address a range of critical issues from hazardous materials to new technologies and the integration of women into fire and rescue services.

These groups have been instrumental in producing valuable resources such as procedures, software tools, videos, and manuals aimed at advancing fire safety protocols globally.

A recent initiative discussed with car manufacturers focuses on the standardisation of power supply documentation in vehicles to enhance the safety of first responders.

Highlighting the importance of their outputs, CTIF awarded its first Best Practice Procedure to a manual dedicated to the extrication of individuals from electric and hybrid vehicles.

Tore Eriksson, former president of CTIF, emphasised their mission: “Our goal is to bring important results forward and make sure they are taken into practice as widely as possible.”

Challenges and innovations in the emergency response community

The scope of emergency response has broadened significantly, encompassing not only traditional firefighting but also addressing emergencies such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and technological hazards.

This diversification necessitates a well-prepared and versatile emergency response community, which includes both professionals and volunteers who are well-trained and equipped.

Eriksson also noted the ongoing challenges in maintaining a robust global expert network, particularly in terms of resource availability.

He stated: “There are big challenges in being a global expert network actor, mainly revolving around the aspect of availability of resources.”

Expanding influence and international cooperation

CTIF’s influence is evident with its 40 member countries and around 50 associate members, which include a variety of private and public organisations.

The association also collaborates closely with entities like The Confederation of Fire Protection Association Europe (CFPA-Europe) and The Federation of the European Union Fire Officers Associations (FEU), further solidifying its role as a pivotal player in international fire safety.

The upcoming annual Delegates’ Assembly in Oslo, scheduled for June 19 – 20, 2024, anticipates participation from about 100 delegates globally.

The focus will be on contemporary challenges such as forest fires and the integration of drones in firefighting efforts.

IFSJ Comment

As CTIF commemorates its 124 years of service, its enduring commitment to enhancing fire safety through international cooperation remains clear.

The organisation’s continuous efforts to adapt to evolving safety needs and technologies exemplify a proactive approach to global safety standards, benefiting communities and emergency responders worldwide.

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