After recovery from Independence war (1991-1995) Croatia and Croatian fire service has started its modernization. Croatian government program which bought 210 new Rosenabuer vehicles completely recovered Fire trucks fleet in Croatia. Personal protection close and other firefighting equipment used in Croatia was also changed to fit European standards (Croatia has started negotiation for entering the European Union). Of course, there are still some old fire trucks and fire fighting equipment but in generally situation is consider being good.
Training of Croatian fire service personnel become next issue. Training such as Rope rescue, hazmat operations, vehicles extraction and forest fire training are following general world standards but training for interior fire attack was being left behind. Sure, in firefighting school there is one "burn building" and every fire department trains daily but not in Hot fire conditions. First published works in Croatian language where translation of Internet articles, mainly that from Paul Grimwoods web site www.firetactics.com.
Plans for building CFBT training site were essential and because of that, Mario Rogina (Varazdin fire department,) and Sinisa Jembrih (Zagreb fire department, ) were send to different Fire & Rescue services that have CFBT training facilities. Internet and good communication which comes with that had a great role in that.
First visits were to neighboring Slovenia and some contacts to Sweden fire service. Seminar from Pro-Inforum company (http://www.proinforum.de/4481.html) and contacts made in Hamburg, Germany on "Internal firefighting congress" proved to be essential. Hamburg fire Academy CFBT training facility, Paul Grimwood, crew from http://www.atemschutzunfaelle.de/, crew from http://www.erhatec.de/, and many, many firefighters all over Germany helped us a lot.
Result of Hamburg visit was publication "Use and tactic in CFBT training facilities" (http://www.upvh.hr/pages/simplaudara210307.htm) based on Jan Sudmersens (Osnabruck fire department) CFBT plans.
Coincidence that Sinisa Jembrih attended some seminars in Malaysian Fire & Rescue Academy in Kuala Kubu Bharu (http://www.flickr.com/photos/58364919@N00/sets/72157594320420371/) in same time when Compartment fire behavior training course for members of Fire & Rescue department Malaysia was held had been also great learning opportunity. To talk and work a little with such renewed instructors like Shan Raffel from Australia, Ed Hartin from United states of America and Paul Grimwood from England did contribute to our further professional development.
Building of CFBT container started finally in Karlovac fire department beginning of this year and it is slowly going (some pictures in "Picture" section of this forum) to its end. We are not planning to finish it before ours Instructors training starts on 28th may. Off course, with lot of help from different sides of world we are building our container. Our container will be combination from different influences and advices, I only hope it will burn well! If not, I will recycle it for hydraulics tool testing :)
20 of our future instructors first finished 5 day instructors training and then went back home in Croatia where they finished 20 more "rounds" in CFBT container to become certified CFBT instructors. Certification of instructors an container proved to be one of the toughest challenges in this whole process. To deal with so many papers and to have endless meetings with questionable results was terrifying experience for authors of this project. A comic situation where we were asking for certification of certificate is just one of them (I mean, W.T.F
However, finding strategic partner who is willing to train 20 foreign firefighters prove to be easy. Known ERHA-TEC company from Germany made an offer we can not refuse. In may of 2007 more than 20 Croatian firefighters attended CFBT instructor course in ERHA-TEC training facility in Germany (http://www.flickr.com/photos/58364919@N00/sets/72157600138577863/)
Even the one Croatian firefighting company (http://www.vatropromet.hr/) acknowledge CFBT project and join us in financing some parts of CFBT project. Of course they are not doing it without eye on profit, they intend and to build and sale CFBT containers in Croatia. On last information from them they have already 3 containers ordered by different firefighting organizations in Croatia. Also, as results of number of publish papers, many firefighters acknowledge CFBT and Hot fire training, after years of ignoring and sabotaging it. I am sure that every CFBT instructor had problems with some of his "dear colleagues" with comments like "we did put fires out without these training"
National Firefighting school is also starting to think on Hot fire training so they have bought new Gas training facility from Draeger company which together with "our" CFBT training facilities will finally solve lack of Hot fire training in Croatia.
CFBT development in Croatia prove to be interested and because of that is presented on several Internet sites and also on Boblingen Firefighting seminar (Germany).