Screen shot from the virtual meeting, with some of the members of the CTIF Women in Fire & Rescue Commission and other invited participants.
16 Jun 2020

The CTIF Commission for Women in Fire & Rescue met with 32 participants from multiple time zones of the world

Women in Fire and Rescue Services
Communication Group

On Tuesday June 16, the CTIF Commission gathered 32 international participants from various time zones and 21 countries around the globe for a virtual meeting.

The timing of the meeting was carefully planned by each commission member and other stakeholders being asked to fill out a questionnaire about the preferred time slot for the meeting. Since participants are anywhere from North America, Asia, Europe and Australia, the least ´inconvenient´ time for most people had to be chosen, and some had to get up very early in the morning and some had to stay up late at night to make the meeting - nevertheless, the meeting was a success with great attendance. 

Several of the members mentioned afterwards the great benefits of the meeting being held online so that participants could attend regular during work hours without adding any extra costs or travel time for their employers or home organisations. 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions around the world, the commission decided to hold more virtual meeting throughout the autumn of 2020, in place of a the usual bi-yearly physical meetings:

"We decided to hold a couple of 2-3 hours meetings instead of one live meeting during the autumn of 2020 because of the worldwide pandemic. The next virtual meeting will be in October. We decided also publish a newsletter from each country focusing in introducing women in fire and rescue services in different countries. Canada will arrange the first one in and Sweden will follow", says Mira Leinonen, chair of the Commission.

Among the topics discussed, the recruitment of more women to fire and rescue services was the main topic, and the focus was in youth fire brigades. The Commission sees that it is important to invest on the youth, being that it is also can be consider an investment in the future of this field.

The Commission decided to focus in coming meetings on organising camps for both youth and adults, with the purpose of attracting more women to the fire services. 

"This was the first virtual meeting and we saw this as a successful meeting. We want to encourage other commissions to hold meetings virtually also and we are willing to help, if needed", says Mira Leinonen.

The participating countries were:

Finland (Chair)

Sweden

Norway

Denmark

Germany

Spain

Belgium (new)

UK

Netherlands

France

USA

Luxembourg

Canada

Australia

Japan

Ireland

Switzerland

Austria

+ Slovenia (Technical host was Neza Strmole at the CTIF Office)