Tommy Baekgaard Kjaer is one of the speakers in Ostrava October 25-26, 2019.
20 Aug 2019

The Program for the CTIF Seminar in Ostrava October 25 and 26 is ready!


Iranian firefighting drone

REGISTRATION IS OPEN UNTIL MONDAY OCTOBER 14th! The program for for the CTIF Seminar "Fire, Rescue and New Challenges" October 25 and 26 in Ostrava, Czech Republic, is packed with interesting speakers, and some of the key note speakers are highlighted below in this post. 

While last year´s Seminar focused on New Technologies, such as the use of drones during interventions, Best Practices for Alternative Energy Vehicles, the new ISO Standard and the latest developments in the field of Firefighters´ Health, the CTIF Seminar 2019 will also focus on four sub headlines:


- Communications within Fire & Rescue

- New Procedures & Best Practices

- Innovations & Technology in Fire & Rescue

- Lessons Learned from Recent or Past Events 




Iranian firefighting drone



Since we have so many speakers, each presentation  will be limited to 30 - 45 minutes each. (with the exception of the Plenary Session which is longer.)

Stay tuned to CTIF.org for more information!





1. Registration 

2. Welcome, Introduction by CTIF president Tore Eriksson 

3. Innovations & Technology in Fire & Rescue: PLENARY SESSION: (2 hours) 

The ISO 17840 project: The first worldwide firefighters´ standardization - Tom Van Esbroeck, Kurt Vollmacher 

EURO NCAP cooperation Euro NCAP - President Pierre Castaign and Secretary General Michiel Van Ratingen 



4. Lithium batteries; new procedures - Michel Gentilleau 

5. Challenges with new vehicles, past incidents - Tore Eriksson 



New Procedures & Best Practices 

6. IAEA - Manual for first responders to a radiological emergency, Cooperation with CTIF - Jordan Arnswald 

7. Fire prevention and new challenges - Aleš Jug 

8. Forest fires - Jean-Frédéric Biscay 

9. Drones in the Fire Service - Mark Bokdam 




Communications within Fire & Rescue 

10. CTIF Fire Statistics Centre Prof. Dr.Sergey Sokolov, Margarita Gregorieva 



11. Media competence initiative for firefighters - Andreas Rieger 

12. New Ostrava Communication Centre - Vladimir Vlček 



Lessons Learned from Recent or Past Events 

13. Floods in Iran - Lessons Learned - Navid Bayat 



14. Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire - Dennis Davis 

15. Firefighters Health - Tommy Bækgaard Kjær 

16. CTIF Fire investigation Commission Folkert van der Ploeg 

17. CTIF Hazmat Commission - Roman Sykora 

18. Closing the Seminar - TBA 


Highlighted Speakers and Presentations:

The Seminar in Ostrava will open with a 2 - 2,5 hour long Plenary Session about the ISO 17840 project, which is the first international standard for firefighters.

The ISO 17840 project was initiated by CTIF and completed with the help of several other organizations such as EURO-NCAP, ISO and several others. Proposed schedule for the co-presentation in the Plenary Session:


Euro Ncap President Pierre Castaign

  1. Tom van Esbroeck: short intro
  2. Kurt Vollmacher: ISO 17840 project (4 parts development + upgrade part 1)
  3. Michel Gentilleau & EURO NCAP President Pierre Castaign present the project "Euro NCAP Taskforce Rescue, Extrication and Safety" (introduction tertiary safety and assessment)
  4. Donna Hovsepian (communication officer Euro NCAP): presents the database and the application
  5. Tom van Esbroeck: Implementation Process National Authorities and PUBLIC TRANSPORT (introduction to workshop 'How to Implement the Standard in your country'.)

The ISO 17840 group will have an information booth throughout the entire seminar, to help answer questions and assist in setting up the implementation process for the new ISO Standard in each individual member country.




Prof. Dr. Sokolov Sergei Center of Fire Statistics (CFS) of CTIF

Prof. Dr. Sokolov Sergei is vice chief of the CFS and professor of the Academy of the State Fire Service of Emercom of Russia. The priority areas of his activity are fire statistics and computer modelling of emergency services operations.

His presentation will discuss the results of the CFS activity for 24 years.

The CFS was founded in 1995. Since 1995 the CFS published 24 reports in English, Russian and German. Additionally, various reports of the CFS have been translated into five other languages - Polish, Spanish, Hungarian, Turkish, and Persian. All reports of the CFS since 2005 are available on the CTIF website for free download.

For 24 years, the Center has analyzed 92 million fires and 1 million victims of these fires in almost 90 countries of the world and in the 100 largest cities of the world.

All data presented in the report are based on information sent by the national committees of the countries to the CFS and official reports of the fire services of these countries.

The work carried out over 24 years allows us to answer the questions: How many fires are on the Earth? How many fire deaths and fire injuries on the Earth ? How much “cost” of fires? and many others.


Dr Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová speaking at the November 2018 CTIF Seminar in Brussels.

Dr Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová speaking at the November 2018 CTIF Seminar in Brussels.

Team communication processing and process analytics for supporting robot-assisted emergency response.

Dr Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová is a senior researcher and project leader in the Multilingual Technologies Lab of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbruecken, Germany (DFKI, www.dfki.de/lt), where she is leading the Talking Robots Group (www.talkingrobots.dfki.de) and the DFKI Competence Center for Emergency Response and Recovery Management (errem.dfki.de).

Robots need to understand the mission as it unfolds, the goals, the tasks within the human-robot team and the state of their execution. Her current work aims to acquire mission knowledge by interpreting the verbal communication among the human response-team members and to use process mining techniques to ground the interpretations in analyses of mission process data and corresponding reference models.

Based on this she is developing a concept for mission assistance functions, including process assistance for the coordination of human-robot team operations; automatic mission documentation generation; and process modeling for first responder training.

Dr Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová has more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and has had leading roles in several national and EU-funded projects.

On Sept 1 2016 she led the deployment of a TRADR human-robot team to support structure damage assessment in the earthquake which had just struck Amatrice, Italy.


Mark Bodam speaking at the CTIF Seminar i Brussels in November 2018.
Mark Bodam speaking at the CTIF Seminar i Brussels in November 2018.

The use of drones in everyday operations

Mark Bokdam is working as the manager of the drone organisation for the fire service of the Netherlands. His lecture will focus on his experiences using drones for a variety of applications within fire & rescue response in Holland.

In addition to his work for the fire service of the Netherlands, he works at Brandweer Twente as Headofficer/commander in the lead at great incidents and also as Project Manager.




Navid BayatFlooding Disaster in Iran

Navid Bayat is the Head of R & D Office at the Tehran Fire Department and an advisor to the CEO of the organization with respect to international relations.

From mid-March to April 2019 some parts of Iran were severely ravaged by record rainfall and unprecedented flash flooding.

The disaster left dozens of people dead and injured and resulted in many infrastructures, homes and roads being significantly damaged, leaving thousands of people displaced.

Once again, we were reminded that preparation, appropriate management and public education play a crucial role in coping with disasters,  particularly when we encounter the forces of nature.

Tehran Fire Department is the most advanced fire department in Iran. Tehran has a population of over 10 million people and is a dynamic city that is developing at a rapid pace, constructions is set to increase more than ever this year with many residential, commercial, industrial and tall buildings being planned for.


Jordan Arnswald from the IAEA

AIEA: Manual for First Responders to a Radiological Emergency

Ms. Jordan Arnswald is from the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre, where she works as an Associate Emergency Preparedness Officer.

Her presentation will discuss the Manual for First Responders to a Radiological Emergency and IAEA´s cooperation with CTIF since the first version of the manual was published in 2006.

This session will include a discussion on the work that was done for the manual’s revision and the path forward to train more first responders for radiological emergencies.



Professor Aleš JugProfessor Aleš Jug currently serves as a chair for the CTIF Fire Prevention Commission. He holds a Ph.D. in Fire Safety Engineering from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, U.S. He is trained as a volunteer firefighter. Previously has Dr. Jug served as a firefighter and fire chief at a volunteer fire brigade in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is currently a professor at Becker College. His research interest covers the field of fire safety and supply chains, plus fire prevention.

Dr. Jug is also a member of the International Fire Safety Standards (IFSS) Coalition established by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Coalitions aim is to prevent death and injury from the fire in the built environment and minimize the impact on communities, society, and the natural environment through codes and regulations.

His presentation will cover a variety of new challenges and fire safety risks we are seeing through the use of new combustible materials, social factors, demographics, and nevertheless, recent fire statistics. The presentation will highlight some problems we are seeing in current fire prevention models and suggests practices for better fire prevention.


Folkert van der PloegThe CTIF International Fire Investigation Working Group

Folkert van der Ploeg, The Netherlands, is a fire officer/ FIT certified fire investigator. Member of national fire investigation group in the Netherlands. Teacher for one day a week on the Saxion University of Applied Sciences. Represents the CTIF Fire Investigation Working Group on behalf of the entire group.

The fire departments can no longer work without fire investigators!
It is important to identify the cause of a fire, to be able to determine the behavior of the fire and help the firefighters to learn from incidents. And not only firefighters, it is also important for community safety.

The CTIF working group for fire research was established in 2017. Since then there has been a meeting every year to share knowledge with each other. During the presentation a short explanation will be given about the working group and on the basis of practical examples, fire research will be further explained.


Dennis Davis at the 2018 Delegates Assembly in Las Vegas.The Grenfell Tower Fire

Dennis Davis, CTIF’s Special Adviser, has an extensive fire and rescue service background, and is an independent international fire and civil protection adviser. In the UK he is also Executive Officer of the Fire Sector Federation, an organisation that works with fire organisations to improve fire safety.

 A chartered fire engineer he has assisted a range of public and private organisations including governments, the European Commission, universities, professional associations and fire and rescue services after a forty year career that started as a firefighter and moved through to service chief and ultimately national chief inspector.

 Professional contributions include being President of the Institution of Fire Engineers and the UK Chief Fire Officers, a CTIF Vice President and Director of the UK Fire Protection Association. Current interests include working with many others to improve fire sector competency and generally seeking to improve professional and public understanding about fire and resilience.

Grenfell Tower was especially difficult to operate within because of the single stairway construction, used for evacuation and firefighting access. The fire strategy for firefighting and rescue operations was based on the provision that the compartment of each flat could sustain and contain a fire.

We are also all aware in the high-rise buildings there are important interactions between life and building safety that specifically affect evacuation.

Fundamental issues like managing duration, logistics, access and travel distances (for example from street to affected floor). These issues can be particularly difficult in legacy buildings where there are no active systems (such as automatic water sprinklers) or that lack fire detection and alarm, voice and communication systems or integrated control of ventilation and air conditioning.


Andreas RiegerMedia Competence Initiative For Firefighters 

Andreas Rieger is the Chief Communications Officer of the Austrian Fire Brigade Association. He studied “public communication” at the university of applied sciences in Graz, Austria. Before joining the ÖBFV, he worked as film and video producer for about ten years. 

In 2019 the Austrian Fire Brigade Association (ÖBFV) started a project called “Media Competence Initiative For Firefighters”. The main goal is to make Austrian firefighters “fit for the internet”.

In Austria 99% of the firefighters are volunteers (without salary). Many firefighters use social media platforms and present themselves as members of the fire department (for example with their profile photos wearing a uniform).

Everything they post, comment, like or dislike has a certain influence on the credit of every firefighter. By appearing in public as a firefighter makes you not only a private person on social media any more. And unfortunately, many of these postings are not supporting our communication interests. 


Commandant Jean-Frédéric BiscayForest Fire Fighting in France

Commandant Jean-Frédéric BISCAY
Directeur adjoint du Centre d’Essais et de Recherche  de l’Entente Valabre


The French strategy of fighting forest fires is based on the attack of the fires outbreaks. This strategy continues with the massive attack. 

"Operational Declining" is the installation of preventative devices. it mobilizes four wheel drive vehcles capable penetrating the forests as close as possible to the fire. And loaded aerial means flying over fire prone areas during the most risky periods.

In France this is called GAAR, and in English is called Armed Airborne Watch and is usually carried out between 12:00 and 19:00.

This approach works but it must be integrated with the consequences of climate change and global warming.

How to imagine future attacks through adapted means? And what kind of policy do we need to protect the forest?



Tommy Backgaard Kjaer
Tommy Backgaard Kjaer

Tommy Baekgaard Kjaer, CTIF Commission for Firefighters´Health (The Firefighters´Cancer Association in Denmark)

Why is it important to avoid contamination and how do we decontaminate after a fire incident? 

Firefighters are exposed to a long rate of cancer causing substances when fighting fires.  In this presentation we will learn about some of the long term dangers of firefighting on the fire ground. 

What are we exposed to? How do we work on the scene? Which procedures should we use on the scene to avoid cross contamination and how do we clean and decontaminate our gear and ourselves afterwards? 

Are there easy ways to deal with this and what should we aim for to reduce the risk as most as possible? 

Some of these questions will be addressed and hopefully there will be a lot of questions and discussions after the presentation and in the breaks and free time where Tommy will be open for discussions. 

We are in this together… 

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 Friday October 25th and Saturday October 26th, 2019

Arrival Thursday October 24th

Departure October 27th




The Seminar will be conducted in English with simultaneous translation provided into Czech. Other languages may be added depending on Registrations and the needs of the participants. 

Hotel Clarion in Ostrava will be the venue for the 2019 CTIF Seminar.



Free bus transportation will be provided from the nearest airports of Krakow and Katovice, which are both in Poland, about one hour from Ostrava.

Those wishing to fly in to Prague international airport instead can take a fast train from Prague to Ostrava, a journey which will take approximately three hours.



There will be space in the lobby outside the meeting room for Corporate Displays. There will also be ample space outside the hotel Clarion to demonstrate vehicles or other large displays.

Associate Members wishing to get involved should get in touch with one of our vice presidents, Ole HansenMilan Dubravac or for Czech companies, contact Zdenek Nytra in Prague through the CTIF Office in Ljubljana. 







Wikipedia.com on the City of Ostrava:

Ostrava (PolishOstrawaGermanOstrau or Mährisch Ostrau) is a city in the north-east of the Czech Republic and is the capital of the Moravian-Silesian Region. It is 15 km (9 mi) from the border with Poland, at the meeting point of four rivers: the OdraOpavaOstraviceand Lučina. In terms of both population and area Ostrava is the third largest city in the Czech Republic, the second largest city in Moravia, and the largest city in Czech Silesia. It straddles the border of the two historic provinces of Moravia and Silesia. The population was around 300,000 in 2013. The wider conurbation – which also includes the towns of BohumínDoubravaHavířovKarvináOrlováPetřvald and Rychvald – is home to about 500,000 people, making it the largest urban area in the Czech Republic apart from the capital, Prague.

Ostrava grew in importance due to its position at the heart of a major coalfield, becoming an important industrial centre. It was previously known as the country's "steel heart" thanks to its status as a coal-mining and metallurgical centre, but since the Velvet Revolution (the fall of communism in 1989) it has undergone radical and far-reaching changes to its economic base. Industries have been thoroughly restructured, and the last coal was mined in the city in 1994. However, remnants of the city's industrial past are visible in the Lower Vítkovice area, a former coal-mining, coke production and ironworks complex in the city centre which retains its historic industrial architecture. Lower Vítkovice has applied for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Since the 1990s Ostrava has been transformed into a modern cultural city, with numerous theatres, galleries and other cultural facilities. Various cultural and sporting events take place in Ostrava throughout the year, including the Colours of Ostrava music festival, the Janáček May classical music festival, the Summer Shakespeare Festival and NATO Days. Ostrava is home to two public universities: the VŠB-Technical University and the University of Ostrava. In 2014 Ostrava was a European City of Sport. The city co-hosted (with Prague) the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 2004 and 2015.