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Training in the forest firefighting sector

The framework law on wildland fires, Law 21 November 2000, no. 353, gives regions a major role in planning and managing activities related to prediction, prevention and fight of forest fires.

In particular, regions planning and management of forest fire fighting is carried out by means of: 

  • Their own facilities and aerial resources, supporting activities of ground teams;
  • Resources, vehicles and staff of the National Fire Service and of the National Forest Corps, on the basis of programme agreements;
  • Personnel of voluntary associations, recognised under the applicable rules, which proves to have proper professional training and certified physical fitness when dealing with fire fighting activities.

Multifaceted fire fighting organisation, such as defined by law, can be effective only through the efficient use of human and practical resources that are available. Within this framework, professional skills of human resources, as well as effective coordination of the different operational structures, play a major role.

Effectiveness is a key guideline, however planning and management of forest fire fighting should be based especially upon activities that are required in order to ensure the safety of the personnel in charge of fire fighting, which is exposed to serious risks of accidents and death. In this respect it is appropriate to speak about a “safety system”, that is a comprehensive system of activities where the safety of each operator stems from appropriate measures of prevention and specific skills at every level.

The framework law on wildland fires gives regions a major role in organising technical – practical courses meant for training operators in charge of prediction, prevention and fight of forest fires.

Under this law, in the framework of the “Regional plan on programming activities in the sector of prediction, prevention and forest fire fighting”, regions identify training needs and relevant organisation.

Moreover, the law provides for staff of voluntary organisations to be properly trained and with certified physical aptitude when performing fire fighting activities.

Thus under the legislation in force the regions are requested to design adequate training courses in the sector of forest fire fighting, in order to comply with requirements and training obligations relating to safety of operators in charge of fire fighting activities showing high risk of accidents and death, as well as to ensure a well-organized use of resources and the best levels of efficiency and effectiveness of AIB organisation.