What is the CTIF International Association of Fire Services?
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Safer Citizens through Skilled Firefighters
CTIF is the ‘International Association of Fire and Rescue Services’ and has as its main goal to support and stimulate the cooperation between the fire departments and other emergency services from all over the world. This organisation was created in 1900 and meanwhile has 39 members, most of them in Europe, but also other countries like Japan, South Korea and the United States of America are members.
CTIF ensures the exchange of experience and knowledge in the field of protection and rescue in case of fire or other disasters. Important goals are: encouraging, supporting and developing the international cooperation, both technically and scientifically, regarding prevention, fire fighting, the rescue of people and animals and providing technical assistance. Besides, CTIF also wants to stimulate the relationships between the fire departments and other rescue services.
To accomplish all of this CTIF ensures amongst other things scientific research, the publication of articles and reports, the organisation of different commissions and working groups and the cooperation with other bodies than the rescue services that are also working in the field of prevention and security.
CTIF was founded in 1900 in Paris as “Comité Technique International de prevention et d'extinction de Feu”, for the purposes of encouraging and promoting co-operation among firefighters and other experts in Fire & Rescue throughout the world.
CTIF develops comprehensive world fire statistics by publishing annual reports which offer data on fire issues from 80 different countries and 90 capital cities.
CTIF organises international conferences and competitions attended by more than 3.000 fire fighters and youth fire brigades from around the world.
CTIF officially has millions of members in 39 countries from Europe, North America and Asia, making it currently - at least on paper - the largest firefighting organisation in the world.
The Mission of CTIF is to work to better understand, and continuously improve, the working conditions for firefighters through ongoing dialogue, analysis and sharing of Lessons Learned from incidents, accidents and fires throughout the world.
CTIF prides itself as being an unprestigious organisation where Knowledge, Expertise and Passion for Firefighting means more than official titles, or whether a member is full time or volunteer.
Most results are shared in the form of Reports, Manuals and Best Practices, free of charge. It is CTIFs ambition to continuously also work to share more digital material in the form New Media, Photography and Video presentations.
Most of the active work within CTIF is carried out in Commissions & Working Groups, (Link to that section on the Home Page) consisting of members dedicated to a particular area of interest within Fire & Rescue.
Currently there are 12 Commissions, and 3 working Groups, each governed by a Head of Commission and a Commission Secretary.
The Commissions and Working Groups are divided into the following areas of interest:
Extrication & New Technology
Women in Fire & Rescue Services
Firefighting at Airports
Rescue / Health Services
Youth Fire Brigades
Training & Education
Regional working groups:
Since 2017, CTIF is also working actively to start an Interior Firefighting Commission.
Within each Commission, members meet regularly - either physically, virtually or both - to discuss and share their thoughts and expertise around current events, challenges and possibilities to improve working conditions for firefighters in the chosen area of interest.
Work in the Commissions is volunteer based, usually with each member's local organisation or employer sponsoring with part of their regular working hours dedicated to CTIF work. During special circumstances CTIF or it´s corporate members can sometimes sponsor certain events and some travel.
All Commission members work very closely with each other, on a first name basis, with little attention paid to titles or official formalia.
Most active members are based in Europe. However, we are proud to also have the United States and Russia as active member countries, as well as recently South Korea, Japan and Iran. There has recently also been a keen interest from China to join our organisation.
The CTIF Permanent Office (link to a page with contact info and a picture of the front desk, perhaps also of Simona) is currently located in Ljubljana, Slovenia since May 2017. Recent other host countries for the Permanent Office has been Sweden and Germany.
CTIF’s decision organs are the Delegates’ Assembly (yearly meeting) and the Executive Committee.
The above photograph shows the CTIF Executive Committee as it stood as of spring 2019. The Executive Committee can change member VPs as often as every year at Delegates Assembly, however the main functions of President, General Secretary and Treasurer, are usually elected for a period of four years, and then re-elected for a second four year term. No member of the Executive Committee can be elected for more than 8 years in a row.
The Executive Committee meets at least twice a year to follow up CTIF actions, projects and the work of CTIF commissions and to prepare proposals to be submitted to the Delegates’ Assembly.
CTIF Delegates’ Assembly decides on the main policies, actions and projects to be carried out by CTIF, and is responsible for electing the members of the Executive Committee every four years (President, General Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-Presidents). The Assembly is organised once a year by one of the CTIF member nations, usually in September.
Once per year, all members are invited to participate in Delegates´Assembly. This is the large Democratic Body of CTIF. Every four years, key positions are nominated and the members vote for their chosen candidate. The President and his or her Board of Directors are often re-elected for up to two four-year terms.
Next Delegates Assembly, will be be held in June 2018 in Las Vegas, in connection with NFPA´s yearly national meeting. This will be the first time in history where a CTIF Delegates´ Assembly will take place in the United States.
Comité Technique International de prevention et d'extinction de Feu
"Safer Citizens Through Skilled Firefighters"
- Since 1900 -