Technical training on Integrated Fire Management and Extreme Wildfire Events for frontline operatives
Looking for new and improved training approaches, resources and solutions to address at scale the need for well-prepared and trained frontline operator units across the territories.
Both professional and volunteer frontline operatives involved in fire management operations often lack comprehensive technical training on Integrated Fire Management and Extreme Wildfire Events, hindering their effectiveness in mitigating and responding to wildfires.
Why the Problem exists?
The problem of inadequate technical training on Integrated Fire Management and Extreme Wildfire Events for frontline operatives stems from several factors. Firstly, the evolving nature of wildfire behaviour and the increasing frequency of Extreme Wildfire Events pose new challenges that require specialised knowledge and skills. However, traditional training programs often lack up-to-date content and fail to address the complexities of managing wildfires in changing environments. Additionally, resource constraints, organisational structures, and limited access to training facilities further contribute to the problem, leaving frontline operatives ill-prepared to handle the complexities of IFM and EWE.
Looking for solutions that completely or partially solve the following:
- Training to work with modern fire-fighting equipment.
- Training frontline operatives in the latest technologies and tools used in Integrated Fire Management and Extreme Wildfire Events.
- Training in controlled and prescribed fire, including the when why and how to apply it.
- Specialised training on Extreme Wildfire Events to enhance operatives’ understanding of the unique challenges and strategies associated with extreme wildfires.
- Training based on international best practices and tailorable for local conditions.
- Adaptability and Customisation.
- Collaboration and Partnership.
- Continuous Professional Development, Skilling and Reskilling.
- Practical field exercises for hands-on training experiences.
- Resource constraints such as funding limitations, personnel, and infrastructure may impact the scalability and accessibility of training programs.
- Account for linguistic and cultural diversity within the frontline.
Fire Management Phase(s)
Prevention & Preparedness; Detection & Response
Voice of the Living Lab(s)
“The problem is complex – economic and demographic. There are few young people left to live in small towns in rural areas. Volunteer fire brigades (fighting teams) no longer exist in many places. There is no comprehensive system for their training, equipment and motivation on the part of the institutions. Skilling and re-skilling solutions to overcome an insufficient number of well-prepared firefighting units“.
“Therefore, there is the need to include Integrated Wildfire Management in the spectrum of the safety system, from the legislation for activities or companies taking place in places at risk of wildfire (nature reserves, wildland-urban interface) up to and including the training for firefighters and land managers (Natuurbrandsignaal report, 2023)“.
“We discussed in depth the problem concerning scarce training of firefighters of voluntary forces concerning fire behaviour. A shared problem concerns a lack of efficient recruitment as well as professional training for human resources devoted institutionally or as voluntary corps, to fight the emergency“.
“The problem exists because the training that most closely resembles a real fire today is the execution of prescribed burns, which are carried out under non-extreme conditions in which fire management is relatively simple and with little risk. The other training is the experience gained in extreme behavioural scenarios, where stress and fear management come into play when confronted with situations they have not been able to experience before. We believe it is necessary to create a pre-designed environment, where fuels have a humidity more similar to the one we will have during extinguishing, and in which forest firefighters can apply different fire management and containment techniques, without the danger of pyroescape.
We also believe it is necessary to develop an interface environment, both rural and urban (housing estates), where real fire can be generated in a previously designed environment (safety) so that firefighters can train the different manoeuvres before they have to do so in a real scenario“.
“Establish a single platform for storage and access to relevant information to pre- and post-fire planning. It should be able to prioritise values and therefore it should be continuously updated (implying that the processes for introducing new data are defined and approved) employing a common agreed framework upon included variables. Ideally, this information would be represented on a map and the different actors involved in the management of the territory, forest fire risk prevention or preparation would have access to it“.
“There is a lack of a basic and continuous evaluation, standardisation and training platform between stakeholders in critical functions related to effective Extreme Wildfire Events (EWEs) firefighting activities. This also involves leadership, competency and innovation initiatives driven in a structured manor. In addition, this also involves interaction and coordination between several critical functions from government agencies required to work together despite defined areas of responsibility. This interaction is often hindered by lack of defined requirements, standards, mutual information platforms/portals and most importantly lack of insight of the current status of an evolving Extreme Wildfire Events (EWEs) resulting in reduced situational awareness and high risk of miss judgment and adequate action initiatives at an early stage. “.
“Developing a system that accurately simulates fire behaviour (EWE), including suppression actions and realistic conditions that reflect the evolution of real fires“.