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U.S. Fire Administration hosts World Fire Congress

The event seeks to establish a global fire service leadership network dedicated to supporting and strengthening the fire service around the world


Photo/Billy Goldfeder

By FireRescue1 Staff

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Fire Administration is hosting the inaugural World Fire Congress in Washington, D.C., this week, seeking to establish a global fire service leadership network dedicated to supporting and strengthening the fire service around the world.

According to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, one of the WFC partner organizations: “This historic event is the first of many, and seeks to deepen international collaboration among fire services – bringing the benefits of shared understanding and experience to tackle the challenges that fire services face globally.”

U.S. Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, serving as chair of the WFC, opened the event on Tuesday, with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell sharing opening remarks.

Day 1 focused on two challenges: Structure Fire/Firefighter Response and Climate Change Impacts. Day 2 focused on the Fire Risk of Emerging Technology and Firefighter Health and Safety. Additionally, Wednesday’s agenda featured a facilitated discussion among the delegates, focusing on cancer, PTSD and mental health, cardiac issues, and diversity in recruitment efforts.

FireRescue1 Senior Fire Advisor Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder is attending and sharing photos from the events.

The Statement of Founding Principles and Objectives reads, in part:

[Fire] represents a borderless threat to our environment.

As leaders responsible for preventing and fighting fires, the delegates at this first meeting of the World Fire Congress (WFC) comprise a diverse gathering of firefighting agencies that share common goals of protecting our communities and our shared environment.

Communities throughout the world face common and evolving challenges, including firefighter health and safety, fire risks associated with emerging technologies, climate-change driven wildfires, and structural fires.

The partner agencies of the WFC share responsibilities to gather and analyze information on all types of firefighting activities, including technical information related to building construction; the fire properties of materials; information on fire prevention and control laws, systems, methods, techniques, and administrative structures; and information on the causes, behavior, and best method of control of other types of fire, including, forest fires.

In a spirit of friendship, and for the common benefit of each community represented within the WFC, its delegates intend to share their collected knowledge with other WFC partner communities.

WFC delegates plan to meet to build relationships that will allow a more open, transparent, and efficient sharing of information through communities of practice; to enable experts within our ranks to gather regularly to share strategies; to bring forward possible solutions to common challenges; to identify emerging problem areas and set priorities; and to monitor the progress of cooperative efforts and programs to reduce fire losses.

Review the full statement.