Photo of Dr. Ulrich Cimolino by Dr. Michael Rüffer/Feuerwehr-Magazin.
13 Jun 2024

Meet the Commission Members: Dr. Ulrich Cimolino, Forest Fires Commission


In our series of personal interviews with the members of the forest fire commission, the turn has come to Dr. rer. sec. Ulrich Cimolino from Germany. 

Born in Altötting (Bavaria), school and army time also in south/east Bavaria (Niederbayern).

Startied in 1981 in the volunteer FD of Pfarrkirchen - and always member there.
Study safety engineering in Wuppertal from 1986 to 1991.

Became a professional fire fighter (officer) in 1991 in Düsseldorf. I was responsible in different functions (training, technics, climate change influenced catastrophy protection) 

My professional career will end at the age of 60 year in December 2024.

I am (a founding member of the WG Wildfire German Fire Services Association since 2006. I was proud to be asked as the head for this WG in 2019. I will continue this work together with my engagement for the associations for the next years.

In 2021 I was also asked to be the head of the Expert Group for Heavy Rain of the vfdb.
I also work as an expert for different tasks in the fire, rescue and catastrophe protection system in Europe.


Skiing, Sailing, Reading, Writing, Cooking & time with family & friends

1.What was the most critical decision you had to make as a Firefighter at a forest fire?

- Luckily I had never to make critical decision in forest fire fighting.


2. What will you remember from the years you lived in the Firefighter family?

- Fire fighters are a great family with an enormous team spirit - world wide. The working in and with international teams - like the Forest Fire Commission of the CTIF - provides you assistance, collaboration, knowledge and new friends.

Firefighting spirit means: Everybody assists everyone at anytime anywhere.


3. What is the most intense emotion you've felt?

- Success and satisfaction in fulfilling the tasks in a complicated scenario.
Sadness about the impossibility to save (young) lives in incidents, especially when the cause is stupid or unnecessary..


4. What did you learn from your mistakes?

- Each Lesson out of mistakes gives me opportunities to become better or to improve missions in safety, outcome, time.


5. Who was your inspiration?

Heinrich Schläfer (+, former chief of training dep. FD Munich), who provides me with understandable literature about being a reasonable Fireman.

Manfred Gihl (Chief of technical dep. FD Hamburg), who explain the variety of technical solutions to improve work.

 Alan Brunacini (Chief of FD Phoenix - the „father of fire command), who gives me a view in another „leading world“ and a subject to bring those ideas to Germany.

Alan Sinclair (former Incident Commander of the US IMT Type 1 Team 1), who showed me successful leadership and communication in critical situations in a calm and efficient way.