Last month the RFU, at the invitation of the Japanese Firefighters’ Association, attended a conference held in Tokyo on Disaster Prevention in Communities and the Volunteer Fire Service (International Symposium).
Executive RFU officer Sean Cooke from Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue, attended the event which was fully funded by the Japanese government where he gave a presentation on the Somerset flooding to an audience of over 200 delegates which included government officials, serving and retired volunteer firefighters and members of 10 other represented countries.
The trip included a visit to the Tokyo fire department where a demonstration was given by the Hyper Rescue Team Volunteer Firefighters involving a rescue of casualty’s following an earth quake and a fire in a high rise building. Delegates also participated in firefighting with the volunteer fire crews using extinguishers.
The visit included a visit to the national volunteer firefighter’s memorial monument, which pays tribute to over 2000 fallen firefighters in the line of duty and is located in the Japanese association building which is dedicated to the history on the volunteer firefighter.
The trip was a fantastic opportunity to meet and exchange views with representatives from other countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and USA, to find out how they deal with recruiting, retention and training of their on-call firefighters.