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Global Fire Service Leadership Summit

Held 10 - 11 October 2011
Zurich, Switzerland at the Swissotel Zurich

2011 Global Fire Service Leadership Summit AttendeOn 10 and 11 October 2011, 26 fire service leaders, representing 14 organizations from around the world joined together for a two-day summit to discuss global issues facing the emergency responders and their communities.

Each of the organizations in attendance made short presentations about their organizational structure, governance, and current and emerging issues facing fire department leaders in their country. It was quickly noted that there were common themes from around the world. Some of these included terminology, self dispatching and retention of members.

Several emergency response presentations were then made:

  • Chief Myroldhaug from Oslo, Norway, spoke about their response to the recent bombing in Oslo and shooting incident in Utoya.
  • Chief Shuji Sakai, Chief Tsutomu Ogawa and Mr. Kenji Ogura spoke about the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the east coast shores of Japan.

The summit attendees discussed the topics below at great length, with outcomes identified. See the meeting summary document (pdf) for a detailed account.

  • The State of the Fire Service for Members/Countries
  • Membership Challenges
  • Recruitment and Retention of Members
  • Vision of Where the World’s Fire Service is Heading
  • Common Issues on Which We Can Work Together that Would Elevate the Fire Service 
  • Education Requirements for the Fire and Emergency Service
  • Formalization of the Summit and Future Steps


The first Global Fire Service Leadership Summit was a success. The purpose of the meeting was to bring fire chief associations from around the world together to network and share successes, solutions, challenges, and future directions. Though the meeting was a brief two days, the foundation for future dialogue and interaction has been established. It is now up to the world’s fire service leaders to take this information and use it in their respective organizations and countries. The ultimate goal of having a better understanding of global issues will evolve over time. It will take effort and perseverance. The world’s fire service has a history of tremendous effort and daily perseverance so we are on a trajectory of success. Together we will be stronger, and in the future, we will continue to learn from our peers around the world.

Next Meeting

It is anticipated that the 2012 GFSLS will be held in Sydney, Australia during the World Fire Police Games, in October 2012. More details will be published as they become available.

If you are interested in attending or have any questions about the 2012 summit, please contact:
Mr. Shawn Kelley, Director of Strategic Services
+1-703-273-0911 x335

Summit Sponsor:
Zoll logo


These were extracted from the presentations made on 10 October:

  • Number of summit attendees: 26
  • Number of associations/organizations represented: 14
  • Number of countries represented by individual participants: 15
  • Number of countries represented by the organizations attending: 81
  • Number of continents represented by individual participants: 5
  • Number of continents represented by the organizations attending: 6
  • Estimated population served/protected by summit attendees: 2.5 Billion
  • Estimated percentage of services worldwide: 80% volunteer - 20% paid

Associations in Attendance:

  • AFAC: Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council
  • B&MKFA: Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority
  • CAFC: Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
  • CFOA: Chief Fire Officers Association
  • CTIF: International Association of Fire and Rescue Services
  • FEU: Federation of the European Union Fire Officers Association
  • IAFC: International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • ICFOA:Irish Chief Fire Officers’ Association
  • IFCAA/FCAJ: International Fire Chiefs’ Association of Asia/Fire Chiefs’ Association of Japan
  • IFE: Institute of Fire Engineers
  • NAFO: Norwegian Association of Fire Officers (NBFL)
  • SAESI: South African Emergency Services Institute
  • ZOLL: Zoll Medical Corporation (summit sponsor)

Attendees by Organization:

  • AFAC - Chief Mike Brown
  • B&MKFA - Chief Mark Jones, Mr. David Rowlands
  • CAFC - Chief Rob Simonds
  • CFOA - Chief Lee Howell, Chief Andy Newland, Mrs. Rhonda Bedford
  • CTIF - Colonel Michel Bour
  • FEU - Dr. Dieter Nuessler, Chief Finian Joyce
  • IAFC - Chief Al Gillespie, Chief Hank Clemmensen, Mr. Mark Light, Mr. Shawn Kelley
  • ICFOA - Chief Michael Raftery, Chief Seamus Murphy
  • IFCAA/FCAJ - Chief Shuji Sakai, Chief Tsutomu Ogawa, Mr. Kenji Ogura
  • IFE - Ms. Louise Craig
  • NAFO - Chief Guttorm Liebe, Chief Jon Myroldhaug
  • SAESI - Chief Ofentse Samuel Masibi, Chief Dino Padayachee
  • ZOLL - Mr. Rob Engelkes, Mr. Carsten Glombeck