The Italian CBRN team in Beirut
05 May 2021

Video lectures from the CTIF "Seminar Fire, Rescue & New Challenges 2021"


The topics for our online seminar were Challenges for Fire & Rescue Services during the Covid-19 Pandemic, European CBRN-efforts after the Beirut explosion, LNG-testing and Wildfires as a threat for industrial facilities and critical infrastructures. 


Our speakers list for the CTIF Seminar, April 22

Held on Thursday 22nd of April 2021 at 10am UTC (12am CET) ONLINE ZOOM                        

Time UTC                Topic                                                                              Presenter        
10:00    -    10:10    Introduction                                                                   CTIF president        
10:10    -    10:40    COVID - Challenges for Fire Service in Japan          Takashi Endo        
10:40    -    11:10    COVID - Challenges for Fire Service in Belgium       Lisa Legros      
11:10    -    11:40    COVID - Challenges for Fire Service in USA              Don Lombardi  

11:40    -    12:00    Break            

12:00    -    12:30    Italian CBRN team in Lebanon after Beirut blast    Stefania Fiore        
12:30    -    13:00    Wildfire threats to critical infrastructure                  Hannes Kern 

13:00    -    13:20    LNG defuelling testing done in Iveco Turin              Marco Aimo Boot        
13:20    -    13:30    Closing of webinar                                                       CTIF president   


Stefania Fiore
Stefania Fiore speaks about the Italian CBRN mission in Beirut at 12 Noon UTC (14:00 CET) on Thursday April 22. 

Stefania Fire, Italy: (12 Noon - 12:30 UTC)

The 2020 ammonium nitrate explosion in Beirut is the largest explosion involving fertilizer in a city center during recent decades. Especially due to Covid, the rescue mission was both dangerous and complicated - This Thursday, hear senior officer Stefania Fiore from Italy speak about the CBRN efforts during the immediate aftermath of the blast. 

The Italian CBRN response occurred during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic, which added an extra layer of complexity to the operation in Beirut following the August 4th, 2020 Ammonium Nitrate explosion. The city was like a war zone and there were serious injuries that needed to be treated urgently among the general population. The CBRN teams had to assume victims were infected with the virus, and special Covid-measures had to be in place to not worsen the pandemic during an already extraordinarily challenging situation.  

Stefania Fiore is a senior officer in the Italian National Fire and Rescue Service, and in particular she is the National Coordinator of the CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) emergency response, working in the Central Directorate for Emergency.


Don Lombardi
Chief Don Lombardi speaks about challenges for the fire services during Covid-19 at 11:10 - 11:40 UTC.

Chief Don Lombardi, USA: (11:10 - 11:40)

Immediately following the outbreak in Italy, United States quickly became one of the Covid-19 epicenters in the West during the early and second phases of the pandemic. The fire services have had to adapt to Covid19 in unprecedented ways during also politically unrestful times. However, several US metropolitan areas have  managed to suppress the coronavirus more effectively than many other areas in the Western world, despite operating in very densely populated areas.

Fire Chief Don Lombardi has been with the West Metro Fire Protection District since 1991. West Metro is one of the largest fire districts and EMS providers in the state of Colorado, serving a population of nearly 300,000 citizens, covering 108 square miles. Chief Lombardi is responsible for all facets of life safety, suppression, all-hazards, and the district's emergency medical response activities. He has a Master's degree in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education from the University of Colorado and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program with the National Fire Academy. Chief Lombardi is also the sponsoring agency chief for CO-TF1, FEMA Urban Search and Rescue. He serves as vice president for the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, and serves on the Colorado Fallen Firefighters Foundation board of directors, and is past president of the Metro Denver Fire Chiefs' Association. 

Lisa Legros, Belgium
Lisa Legros speaks about challenges due to Covid-19 in Brussels at 10:40 am UTC. 

Lisa Legros, Belgium: ( 10:40- 11:10 am UTC)

Brussels has one of the densest populations in Europe and Belgium was one of the first countries to develop special procedures for firefighters, paramedics and ambulance staff to stay safe throughout the pandemic. Belgium was and still affected very hard with the Covid-19 pandemic and first responders have had to carry a heavy burden keeping the population safe during a challenging year, both on a practical and political level.  

Lisa Legros is a Captain at the Brussels Fire Brigade, and also responsible for the specialized HazMat team. She is a commanding officer on the field and also an administrative officer for the specialized HazMat Team.

She is a university graduate from the polytechnical department ( UMons) with a Master of Science in Chemistry Engineering. She joined the Fire Services as an officer trainee in 2012 and specialized in the management of operations with dangerous goods.


Takashi Endo
Takashi Endo will be speaking about how Covid-19 has affected Japanese fire services at 10:10 - 10:40 UTC. 

Takashi Endo, Japan: (10:10 - 10:40 UTC)

As Japan faces down a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, many fear that the variant strains spreading rapidly in the country’s west may soon wreak havoc in the Tokyo area as well, with the strains making up 80% to 90% of all coronavirus cases in the Tokyo area by early May, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Japan has seen  four variant strains — one originating from Britain, one from South Africa, one from Brazil and one strain of unknown origin.

Takashi Endo is in charge of International Cooperation at the Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA), in Japan. He manages a variety of cross-border projects which contributes to enhancing the fire service and the disaster management system in developing countries, especially in the East Asia region. 

During the Japan Disaster Relief Team dispatched to Mexico, Sep. 2017 and Taiwan, Feb. 2018 for search and rescue as the two countries suffered from the great earthquakes, he served as one of the officers who oversaw the in-country arrangement – facilitating the coordination and communications between the worksites in the disaster affected cities and the agency offices in Tokyo. He is a graduate from the Sophia University, with a Bachelor of History, and has served as a government officer in Japan as well as a foreign diplomat.


Hannes Hern
Hannes Hern speaks about wildfires as a threat to critical infrastructures at 12:30 - 13:00 UTC. 

Hannes Kern, Austria: (12:30 - 13:00 UTC) Wildfires as a threat to critical infrastructures

In recent years, wildfires and forest fires have progressively increased in size and fire services around the globe and on every continent are forced to evacuate entire cities as the fires are reaching unprecedented volumes. With more and more fires which cannot necessarily be stopped, also comes the possibility of the fires threatening critical infrastructures - perhaps the same infrastructures the fire services themselves are depending on the fight the fires.   

Hannes Kern is a senior scientist at the Disaster Competence Network in Austria and Assistant Professor for Industrial Safety and Emergency at Montanuniversität Leoben.

He is also the Chief Hazmat Officer at East Styria Region, and a member of the CTIF Commission for Hazardous Materials. 


Marco Aimo Boot
Marco Aimo Boot will be speaking about LNG defueling tests in Italy at 13:00 - 13:20 UTC. 

Marco Aimo Boot, Italy: (13:00 - 13:20 UTC) Defueling Tests for LNG

LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) is quickly gaining ground as an alternative fuel for many heavy vehicles and industrial machinery. However, this fuel is new to many fire services,  the extreme low temperatures at which it needs to be stored can call for special procedures when responding to a leak. Accidents are rare but when they do happen, the drifting gas clouds can be very dangerous if the behavior and chemical properties of the expanding gas are not understood properly. 

CTIF´s Extrication & New Technology member Marco Aimo Boot, will be speaking about LNG defueling tests done in Iveco, Turin, which may deepen our understanding of how to handle this fuel from a fire safety point of view, and for safe vehicle accident responses during extrication and evacuation.  

Marco Aimo Boot is the Technical Coordinator Manager in the Electrification Technology Department in CNH Industrial for all electrification applications. In addition to his primary appointment, he is in charge as Tertiary Safety Leader to cover all the post-crash requirements and implementations of many CNH Industrial products.