news8 marzo 2020

Forest fires: new Directive issued by the President of the Council of Ministers on extinguishing operations management

The document regulates, for the first time at a national level, the figure of the DOS, from its functions to the dedicated training path

The Directive issued by the President of the Council of Ministers "Definition, functions, training and qualification of the management of forest fire-fighting operations" was published in the Official Journal on March 5, 2020.

The Document is the result of the work of the Interinstitutional Technical Table for the monitoring of the forest fire-fighting sector, set up following the debriefing activity of the AIB 2017 Campaign. The Technical Table, coordinated by the Civil Protection Department, is attended by representatives of the Carabinieri Corps, the National Fire Brigade Corps, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, the National Association of Italian Municipalities and the Regions of Veneto, Liguria, Tuscany, Sardinia, Molise and Puglia, identified by the Coordination of the Special Commission of Civil Protection.
The Directive, which was approved through a participatory procedure, was agreed at the Unified Conference on October 24th.

The document is divided into several sections concerning the Management of Extinguishing Operations, such as the figure of the DOS - Director of Extinguishing Operations, his functions, his training course, the qualification system and the dedicated regional register. A section is also dedicated to the training of the DOS of the National Fire Fighters Corps. Moreover, the document defines the planning of the service, the way to activate the DOS and to prepare the daily end-of-activity report.

The "Extinguishing Operations Management" has a dynamic structure and is based on the complexity of the forest fire scenario; in the ordinary way, the function is ensured by the DOS, while for complex forest fires, the management is referred to the "Regional Plan for Forecasting, Prevention and Active Fight against Forest Fires" and to any specific memorandum of understanding signed on forest fire prevention. 

The DOS ensures the management of the fire extinguishing operations - which consist of circumscription, front control, suppression and reclamation - through the coordination of land and air means, in accordance with the "Regional Plan for forecasting, preventing and actively fighting forest fires". For complex forest fires, where the number of simultaneous activities or resources to be coordinated exceeds the individual management capacity, a structured intervention model is defined instead.

The Directive also defines the requirements of access, duration and topics to be covered by the course for the Regional staff and Local Authorities, the contents of which are detailed in a technical annex.
The document also requires the Regions to prepare a qualification plan that includes, among others, appropriate health checks, insurance policy for DOS, and the establishment of a regional register with compulsory registration for the exercise of operational activities, to be attached to the "Regional Plan for forecasting, prevention and active fight against forest fires".