Questions and answers

1. Question

Is your national and local Fire and Rescue Service a State or Municipal Service?

  • London Fire Brigade – metropolitan
  • United Kingdom – metropolitan/non-metropolitan, private, nuclear
  • Sweden – municipal, private organisations - nuclear, airport
  • Norway – municipal and private organisations
  • Denmark – municipal and private organisations
  • Slovenia – municipal, private organisations, airport
  • Austria – municipal, private organizations, airport

2. Question

How many operational women firefighters do you have in your Fire and Rescue Service (State or municipal)?

  • London Fire Brigade, UK – 327 – 6.87%

3. Question

How many operational women firefighters do you have in your country? How many chiefs do you have?

  • Sweden: 194 full time – 3.9%, 616 part time – 5.8%, 5 Fire Chiefs
  • Finland: volunteer -10%,
  • England: 1,262 whole time -4.99%, 525 retained duty – 5.5%. One Chief Fire Officer (two from 1 January 2017)
  • Slovenia: 3 full time – 0.4%, 12,000 volunteer – approximately 15%
  • Austria:19,672 – 6% (2015)
  • Norway: 4 full time Fire Chiefs

4. Question

Do you have volunteer Fire and Rescue Services? State whether you have a Brigade/Station/Fire Department/Fire and Rescue Service and what they comprise?

  • UK – none
  • Slovenia – 1,300 fire stations, 15 professional Fire Brigades (stations)
  • Norway – none
  • Sweden – yes
  • Austria – 4,503 fire stations volunteer, 314 Works Fire Brigades, 6 Professional Fire Brigades
  • Finland – 709 fire department 491 volunteers, 200 part time, 18 industrial fire brigades. Full time 112.


Four working group
We have established four working groups under the following headings to collate information from a survey that we are formulating:

Family and Caring

  • Pregnancy
  • Maternity Policies
  • Nursery/kindergarten facilities


  • Salary
  • Retirement
  • Definition of a firefighter

Technical and Physical Issues

  • Uniform
  • Physical fitness


  • Promotion
  • Culture


The Commission is working on a survey with questions about working practices, maternity leave and particular issues which affect women. This will be sent to all members and we would ask that everyone participates. The information will be collated and best practice shared.


These are our definitions for the persons in fire and rescue services, so you know the background how you answer the survey.

Operational firefighter - A person who uses specialist equipment and clothing to protect themselves from their working environment and who may put themselves at risk to save a life or property. This also includes those who are more senior and who attend incidents in a command role.

Firefighter and other roles. May wear a uniform provided by their employers and carry out a role eg, emergency dispatch, Fire Safety and Prevention but do not attend operational incidents and do not put their lives at risk (as above). Other roles are support roles for the Fire and Rescue Service, eg, IT, administrative tasks, psychologists, teachers, policy writing, etc (There are many definitions within this "other roles")

International Conference for Woman Volunteer Firefighters - Conference Report

Conference took place on 29th September 2014 at Toshi Center Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.
PDF icon reportbookeng.pdf3.63 MB

A national network for rescue women launched in Finland

Friday March 06 2015 was a historic day in Finland from a woman's perspective.
A national women’s network was launched for those who are active in world of rescue operations. The aspiration of the network is to promote personal development and to provide peer support.
The idea of this network evolved from the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (CTIF). International work, is coordinated in Finland by The Finnish National Rescue Association (SPEK), with Finland being one of the member countries in CTIF’s Commission Women in Fire and Rescue Services. The collaboration started as a working group in 2013 resulting in achieving commission status in 2014, with the wider operation identifying the need of a national network for rescue women in Finland. The network is open to all women operating in the rescue field whether voluntary or professional.

The common aim is to harness other women’s organizations in existence and by doing so SPEK, as a central organization, provides the network its support through mechanisms and assistance in coordination.
The seminar showcased international women's activities, including the Swedish women's operation of the network, in addition to highlighting women's experience in the field of rescue operations in Finland. Internationally, the status of women varies a lot, depending on their country.
Those who were involved in the seminar all agreed that women should be treated as equals, whether professionals or volunteers, and provide the opportunity to develop in accordance with their own personality. Rescue men and women have the same goals and therefore the network is not competing within the men’s arena. However, for the purpose of identifying the specific needs of women and at the same time working and competing harmoniously with men, it is important that women have the opportunity to network with other likeminded women.

Sirpa Suomalainen
Regional director at The Finnish National Rescue Association SPEK

Caption: More than 60 rescue women, as well as few open-minded rescue men met at the seminar in Helsinki. Seminar was organized by SPEK.

New CTIF commission

Dear colleques

Congratulations !!

Now we are a CTIF COMMISSION " Women in Fire and Rescue service ".

Sincerely yours,
Eremina Tatiana
Doctor of Siences, Professor

Applications to become a commission

Applications for group Women in fire and rescue services to become a commission.

It‘s time to change the status - on commission!

Women's working group established in 2012 follows the traditions layed by the first women working in firefighters' organisations. The active role of modern women in fire fighting as well as the existing tradition make us apply for transformation of the working group into CTIF Commission.

PDF icon presentation_eng.pdf1.42 MB

Report of the 5 th meeting of the Working group " Women in Fire and Rescue service"

The 5 th meeting of the Working  group " Women in Fire and Rescue service " took place on 9.04-11.04.2014  in Helsinki .

Members from: 
Russia, Finland, Sweden, France, Serbia, Slovenia, Japan, Denmark took part in the meeting .

The agenda of the meeting:

1. Welcome Speech of the organizers (SPEK, Finland)
 - Kimmo Kohvakka , managing director .
2. Introduction of new members of the Working Group
3. Presentation of women's participation in the system of protection and rescue in Finland:
 - Matti Orrainen " The Finish National Rescue Association SPEK "
 - Mira Leinonen " Fire and Rescue Services in Finland "
 - Mira Leinonen " KEJO , A mutual ICT - project for Finish safety authorities on field operations system "
4. Presentations of members of the Working Group.
 - Stephanie Chaubet( France ) " Women in Fire and Rescue Services in France "
 - Maria Filippova ( Russia )" System of rendering of the emergency psychological aid in an emergency zone ".
 - Yuko Hasegawa ( Japan ) " Women in Fire and Rescue Services in Japan";
 - Marinka Cempre Turk, Vladimira Bucevec" ( Slovenia )" Notranjska region captured in sleet, February 2014".
 - Mona Hjortzberg, Lena Brunzell( Sweden )" Professional Female firefighters HkBm and KIR".
 - Peter Søe. ( Denmark ) " Fire and Rescue Services in  Denmark"
5.Discussion of the work in progress:
  Valtteri Tervala ( Finland ),  Short analysis of the answers to the questionnaire for all CTIF members (proposed at the last meeting in Mulhouse). Deadline 2014.
6. Discussion  of the possible change of the status of working group to the new status:  to become "Women in Fire and Rescue Service"commission and the corresponding new tasks .
7.  Adopting of resolution of the V Working Group (Helsinki):
 - Accept the final version of the questionary and direct it to the working group members for filling in.
responsible persons: Mona Hjortzberg, Stephanie Chaubet
deadline: May  2014

- Fill in the questionary and present it for summarising.
responsible person: Mona Hjortzberg, Stephanie Chaubet
deadline: July 2014

- Summarize  the filled in questionaries from member countries. Make a table of main data  with conclusions and suggestions.
responsible person: Mona Hjortzberg, Stephanie Chaubet
deadline: August 2014

- Prepare a report on the work done in 2013-2014, including the results of the questionary analysis, for presentation at  CTIF assembly in September 2014.
responsible person: Tatiana Eremina
deadline: August 2014

- Make a presentation of the questionary analysis at the VI working group.
responsible person: Stephanie Chaubet
deadline: 29-30.09.2014

- Present the summarised results at the CTIF site.
responsible person: Mira Leinonen, Mona Hjortzberg
deadline: October 2014

- Apply to President of CTIF Tore Eriksson for change of the status of working group to the new status:  to become "Women in Fire and Rescue Service" commission.
responsible person: Tatiana Eremina, Lena Brunzell
deadline: 2014

- Hold the 6 th working group on 29-30 of September in Tokio, Japan.
responsible person: Hiroshi Fukuchi
deadline: September 2014

- Schedule the 7 th working group in 2015 in Sweden in end of April
responsible person: Lena Brunsel, Mona Hjortzberg
deadline: end April 2015

- Schedule the 8 th working group in 2015 in Croatia (request  Ruzica Belanovic to contact Vice President of Association of
Fire - Fighters of Croatia)
September 2015

Chairwomen of the international CTIF working group           T. Eremina

Eremina Tatiana
Doctor of Siences, Professor