JOIFF bursary – emergency management

Published:  11 April, 2008

JOIFF – the organisation for emergency services management – is offering up to £1,500 to the successful applicant of a new bursary award. And what’s more, the bursary is open to all.

The award’s aim is to assist someone who wishes to conduct research into – or a project relating to – emergency services management, to progress their ideas and bring them to fruition, and is open to all (not only representatives of JOIFF Members).

The JOIFF Bursary of up to £1500 will be awarded to the project which the JOIFF selection committee deems to provide the most value to the fire and emergency response community. On conclusion of the work, the successful applicant will be required to submit a report on their findings to the JOIFF Membership.

Applications are invited by completion of the application form which can be downloaded from the JOIFF website, Closing date for applications is 31st August 2008.

Wildland firefighting – update

Wildland firefighting is a title used in many countries to define suppression action involving a fire in vegetative fuels such as forest, crops, plantations, grass or farmland. Many JOIFF Members have the responsibility of responding to incidents that involve the vegetation in and around their sites. As with all aspects of emergency response, dealing with wildland incidents requires special knowledge and understanding, not only of methods of extinguishing fire and mitigating incidents, but also of the nature of such fires, how they are ignited and how they spread.

In the March 2008 edition of the official JOIFF newsletter, available for free download from the JOIFF website, an article by Professor Domingos Xavier Viegas of the University of Coimbra, Portugal discusses eruptive fire behaviour.

This phenomenon is where wildland fires behave sometimes in a rather unusual way, with a very fast spread rate. This happens mainly in steep slopes and in canyons, but it can also be triggered by wind. Professor Viegas has been researching this phenomenon for many years and believes that when a multiple fatality occurs in a wildland fire, more than likely there was a fire eruption. The article in The Catalyst gives a detailed explanation of eruptive fire behaviour and raises a fundamental issue with regard to firefighter safety when dealing with incidents.

Because of these continuing tragedies around the world, it must be questioned as to whether there is a knowledge gap with firefighters about the type of wildland fire development that Professor Viegas points out in his article.

JOIFF would be interested in seeing some debate on this subject as it might highlight the lack of resources committed to training personnel who are expected to fight wildland fires and might also raise some other interesting issues with regard to safety of firefighters dealing with these incidents.

JOIFF expands
At the beginning of 2001, the membership of JOIFF was 24 organisations as members from five countries – since that time the group has grown to its current membership level of 91 organisations as full members, and 40 organisations as corporate members in 30 countries.
JOIFF members includes organisations in the petrochemical (covering exploration, refining, distribution etc); chemical; pharmaceutical; nuclear; food; and aviation industries; as well as training establishments; organisations that provide professional emergency response; organisations that provide large scale storage of hazardous materials; and municipal fire brigades. JOIFF’s corporate members include the worlds’ leading suppliers of goods and services to the emergency response industry.

There are two main categories of membership of JOIF; full members are organisations in high hazard industries and/or that have nominated personnel as emergency responders/hazard management team members who provide cover to industrial/ commercial organisations.
Corporate members are organisations which do not fully comply with these requirements but who wish to support and become involved in the activities of JOIFF. All members are represented by nominees who are included in the JOIFF shared learning mailing network.

  • Operation Florian

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