CTIF´s Commission & Work Group Chairs met for a three hour video conference
CTIF´s Commissions and Working Groups met on Tuesday for a three hour long meeting online. The purpose was to share and present about their work and projects, as well as for members to get to know one another.
The core of CTIF´s work has always been with the Commissions and Working Groups. However, many members only know other members within their own group, and do not always get a chance to attend large CTIF events like our yearly Delegates´Assembly.
Ever since the CTIF Permanent Office was opened in Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2016, it has been CTIF´s president Milan Dubravac´ intent to arrange a meeting between all the Chairs and the Executive Committee (the governing board) of CTIF.
A physical meeting was planned for the spring of 2019 at the fire school of Ljubljana. However, at the time there was an unexpected issue with one of the major airlines and air travel to Ljubljana became complicated.
In 2020, all physical meetings were cancelled and much of CTIF´s activities were moved temporarily online to teleconferencing platforms.
The virtual CTIF Chairs´Meeting on May 11 was one of two Chairs Meetings planned for 2021, with the second meeting to be announced for the Autumn of 2021.
In many ways, the travel restrictions during 2020 - 21 have offered an opportunity for CTIF to become more comfortable with modern communications technology, and a chance to arrange shorter meetings at a higher pace.
Although many members are naturally looking forward to eventually returning to the traditional physical meeting format, most commissions and WGs report that they will continue to compliment their regular yearly or bi-yearly meetings with shorter follow-up meetings online. The virtual format is a chance for members who have problems financing their travels, or facing other difficulties travelling, to participate at virtually no cost.
The CTIF Executive Committee started already before the Pandemic, in late 2019, holding bi-weekly video calls as they found that the two physical meetings per year was not nearly enough to handle all the projects and issues needing to be discussed.
In the Autumn of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced CTIF to make a historic choice to move Delegates Assembly, including the voting for new president, entirely online. Although it came with challenges and didn´t offer the same networking opportunities as a physical event, the online DA was an appreciated and needed event to help keep our organisation together during the global crisis following the pandemic.
For Delegates Assembly (October 15, 2021) the plan is to physically arrange the event during the French Firefighters Conference in Marseille. However, the Executive Committee of CTIF recognizes that the future of travel is still uncertain and will offer a contingency plan with at least a virtual component for those not able to attend physically.