Rescue services

Minutes of the CTIF Women in Fire & Rescue Services monthly meeting | CTIF

The CTIF Commission for Women in Fire and Rescue Services is one of our most active commissions and holds online meetings once a month, as well as regular monthly online presentations. Like several other CTIF commissions and working groups, the commission also aims to resume physical face-to-face meetings during the INTERSCHUTZ exhibition in Hannover in June.

Monday April 28:

Our President, Mira Leinonen, started the meeting and handled all the presentations. Mira reminded us all of the CTIF statement regarding the invasion and war in Ukraine and that Russia and Belarus are suspended from CTIF at this time -executive-committee-concerning-the-ongoing-armed-conflict-ukraine .

According to the Ukrainian government, unfortunately 18 firefighters were killed, around 40 were injured and 80 fire stations were destroyed in Ukraine since February 24.

Regarding the massive international support through CTIF members to help Ukraine, You can read about it here:…

If you have leaders from your FRS that you think would like to help and be a strategic link, please ask them on WhatsApp our fellow firefighter in Ukraine – Alina Kozlova (Contact Mira Leinonen for the phone number to Alina)

Alina also joined the WhatsApp group for the Commission on behalf of Ukraine, but has other more pressing issues to deal with at the moment. We wish him and his colleagues and fellow Ukrainians our support and hope that they stay safe in these very worrying times.

Mira also thanked Lisa Peterson, Norway, who is stepping down as Norway’s representative on our Commission as she leaves her job with the fire service at the end of May. Lise wrote ‘I want to thank you and all our great colleagues for being able to be part of the group and the network. I learned a lot from our meetings and was inspired by everyone. I just wish I had the opportunity to meet more often in person. But maybe I’ll see some of you again in the future, who knows? Please send my best regards to everyone.

She will be starting in a new position with the City of Stavanger as Emergency Preparedness and Community Development Officer and we would like to formally thank her for being part of our Commission and wish her much success and all the best for the future. Another member will be appointed in his place.

Louis Perreaux, a student at the University of Bordeaux introduced himself and gave a brief overview of his work collecting data on the number of female firefighters – professional and voluntary in the EU. His findings so far are unfortunately not surprising given that around 5% of professional firefighters and around 15% of volunteers are women, but he has yet to collate all of his data for a final report.

Louis would really like to hear from Italy, Latvia, Spain, Bulgaria and France regarding the stats, and so if you can help him, please email him at [email protected] We also wish him the best as he begins his career in France as a professional firefighter at the end of April – continue to carry the torch of equality and diversity as you move forward Louis! Louis will be back to report on his findings later in the year.

Our keynote speaker, Lydia Wilcox, Ontario, Canada worked in the fire department for 14 years as a frontline firefighter and now in the role of fire prevention officer. Lydia has been a board member of Fire Service Women Ontario (FSWO) for 10 years, an organization that strives to encourage, empower and educate women in the fire service and those who aspire to becoming it. Lydia presented an FSWO toolkit that will help fire departments address and achieve their equality, diversity and inclusion goals. The Insights study (Academic Research) can be viewed here Each section of the toolkit can be downloaded and viewed here

Below is a link to Lydia’s major research paper on barriers for women entering the fire department. She completed this for her Masters in Public Administration and much of her research was used in the Insights Study and Toolkit

The next steps for the FSWO are to create and present the Pledge Pieces to the Chief Officers so that they can better assimilate the information as there is a lot of it. This will be completed in early May 2022 for the Recruitment and Hiring sections of the toolkit.

If you have any questions or want the work emailed to youdo not hesitate to contact Lydia directly on whatsapp or on [email protected]

We would like to thank Lydia for her work and presentation – such good work that we can all use!

The Commission will also send an official invitation, as soon as a date is confirmed, to a face-to-face meeting for those who can attend Interschutz, Hannover, Germany June 20-23. Susanne has booked 7 double rooms for June 20-25 at around 190 euros per night per room and these can be booked directly with her [email protected] (you don’t have to book for each night). There is a train ride of approximately 30 minutes from the hotel to the Interschutz site. Watch this space for more information!

Also very important, our Dutch colleagues will celebrate their 25th anniversary network for women on Friday/Saturday 24/25 June in The Hague, the Netherlands, so it is possible for some of us to combine the two meetings. There are several workshops planned for example, demonstrations, creative workshops, sailing with the beach brigade, the young fire brigade, how to put out dune fires, a city walk in The Hague, sports activities etc and the evening a party, with more workshops the next day. There are a few workshops in English so enough for international participants and an interpreter will be present. There will be more guests from other countries and the keynote speaker is Dany Cotton, retired Fire Commissioner from London, UK.

Please contact Claudia Prins [email protected] and/or Saskia Pouw [email protected] if you wish to participate.

Mia Albertsson also shared a link and urged us to watch the following uplifting video to lift our spirits Thank you Mia!

Finally, our next meeting will be with Mark Nas of CERN in Switzerland . He will present CERN and the future cooperation with the CTIF WFRS Commission on Monday 2 May 2022 (instead of 26 April) – you will receive an updated invitation by e-mail and an agenda later.

Take care of yourself and stay safe.

Nicholas Low

Group Commander, Professional Development and Learning, London fire brigade

A screenshot of the WIFR meeting on Monday, March 28.