CTIF´s commissions and working groups encouraged to continue their work virtually during the pandemic
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Dear members of CTIF,
Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic situation with the coronavirus does not allow us to meet and hold physical meetings, neither currently or in the foreseeable future. Commissions, working groups and National Committees are encouraged to use virtual meetings rooms and video conferencing systems to continue their work.
Given the wide spread COVID-19 pandemic situation around the globe, CTIF advices all members to exercise extreme caution when it comes to travel – and if possible restrict all interactions to virtual meetings on the internet.
These recommendations / restrictions are currently active for winter 2020 and spring 2021. However - the CTIF is closely following the development of the pandemic and we are prepared to make amendments to include restrictions for the the entire 2021 and beyond, should it become necessary.
The Executive Committee is meeting virtually every month since late 2018, and on October 21st, the postponed Delegates Assembly 2020 was finally conducted in virtual space on Zoom.
This being said: CTIF Germany still plans to arrange Delegates Assembly physically during Interschutz in June 2021. The CTIF Executive Committee will however adjust to the ongoing pandemic situation and plans to make adjustments to the plan if necessary to stay safe.
These adjustments could involve arranging the DA entirely virtual again if there is a common travel ban for many countries, or arrange a partially virtual, partially physical DA at some point in 2021, should there still be travel bans for only some countries. Please stay tuned to CTIF.org for updates. The upcoming Covid-19 vaccines may offer some hope of relief, but we need to be prepared for the possibility that the global pandemic situation could be causing restrictions on travel for the entire 2021 and beyond.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact the CTIF Office.
All CTIF functions are currently being arranged entirely through virtual solutions, by phone, video conference, mail and other solutions. Several of CTIF´s Commissions decided early on in the pandemic to cancel their meetings and go virtual, in order to take the lead in precautionary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CTIF Executive Committee has been meeting virtually since late 2018, as a compliment to their bi yearly physical meetings, so the transition to a virtual meeting environment was smooth for CTIF´s governing body.
Text by: Björn Ulfsson, Communications Coordinator for the CTIF
Most countries have now opened up their economies again after being on lockdown or at least strong restrictions for several months. The CTIF would like to strongly urge all first responders to stay extremely vigilant and not relax procedures and precautions. Since most scientists and epidemiologists agree that there is a risk for a stronger, even more dangerous second wave of the pandemic during the winter the CTIF is closely following the development.
The general concern of the CTIF is how the novel corona virus will affect medical resources in member countries, given an even larger spread of the virus in the future. The novel corona virus is likely considerably more deadly than the common flu, especially for people in high risk groups and with repeated strong exposure. It is highly contagious in ways the medical and scientific community doesn´t yet fully understand. The demand for hospital care becomes very high in dealing with the more severe cases, and given the rapid spread of the virus, it makes the Covid-19 outbreak different from other pandemics in recent years.
General Advice from CTIF at this time:
The CTIF International Association of Fire Services consists of 39 sovereign member states, each governed by their own national and regional jurisdictions when. The recommendations for first response, health care and national protection may differ in each region, and therefore, CTIF cannot give general guidelines for how to deal with the situation. CTIF does however strongly advice all members to closely follow their local authorities advice and recommendations at this time, as always.
Delegates Assembly, Interschutz and other large technical seminars:
While several large technical conferences around the world have already decided to cancel or postpone their activities due to the pandemic, it remains to be decided in which form CTIF´s yearly congress the Delegates Assembly (with its important upcoming elections) will be arranged during current circumstances. It was originally scheduled to be held during Interschutz in Hannover on June 17 of this year. The CTIF Executive Committee will announce special measures for DA 2020 shorty, including new dates for the CTIF Elections.
Strong advice against international travel and physical meetings:
For the moment, CTIF strongly advises its members to avoid unnecessary travel and to postpone Commission and Working Group meetings involving international travel at this time. A good option during the course of the pandemic is to work with video conferencing systems or other internet based, virtual solutions.
On Monday March 16, it was decided that INTERSCHUTZ in Germany is cancelled until 2021. This effects CTIF´s Delegates Assembly, since DA was supposed to be held during Interschutz, arranged by DVF. For now, Delegates Assembly is postponed. Stay tuned for more information on new dates for Delegates Assembly.
The CTIF Commission for Voluntary Firefighters informed their members on Thursday that their planned April Commission meeting Ljubljana has been postponed until further notice due to travel restrictions.
The CTIF Youth Leader Commission decided on Saturday to cancel their 15th Symposium of the International Youth Leader Commission in May, also due to the corona outbreak.