Success for the European Training on Wildfire Command and Control Practices in Valabre

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A new chapter in wildfire incident command unfolded last week in the heart of Valabre, a French nodal centre of the training system for forest fires.

Leveraging on the simulation tool offered by the local École d’application de Sécurité Civile (ECASC), the training course “Wildfire Command and Control Practices” addressed Incident Commanders and Incident Management Team officers, resonating with the essence of collaboration and preparedness, setting a paradigm for international partnership in crisis management. 

Initiated with the aim of supporting the European Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) and spearheaded by FIRE-RES, the training brought together 16 high-level trainees from 11 countries, each representing a vital node in the network of disaster response, from 22 to 26 April. 

© ECASC Valabre

Their mission? To delve into the intricacies of managing large-scale wildfire incidents in an international context, consolidating their interoperability skills and shared expertise. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is a crucial tool to reinforce the cooperation between EU countries to enhance prevention, preparedness, and response to disasters. However, there is leeway for improving its adoption, for instance refining the integration of its modules and foreign experts into national command frameworks, or upgrading interoperability on site.  

Under the coordination of FIRE-RES partner Jean-Paul Monet, the trainees embarked on a journey of exploration, navigating the virtual terrain of simulated wildfires with the precision of seasoned commanders. The ECASC Valabre provided a vital platform where theoretical knowledge combined with practical application, transcending national borders. 

TIEMS officers Sergio Pirone, Stéphane Poyau and Xavier Joseph were building the core of the experienced trainers’ team. 

What set this course apart was its ability to foster a dynamic exchange of ideas and experiences among participants. From sharing insights into their respective command systems to envisioning the nuances of emergency operations, each trainee contributed to a mosaic of collective wisdom, enriching the fabric of international cooperation. 

Author: Beatrice Bellavia (Euromontana)

Contributor: Jean-Paul Monet (TIEMS)