Conferences & Workshops

1. Workshop on 14th of October in Athens “Lessons learned” from forest fires of summer 2003 in Europe

         ECFF organized a workshop on “European Planning and Policies for Forest Fires”, on the 14th of October 2003, in Athens. The workshop aimed at identifying the causes of the devastating large-scale forest fires of summer 2003 in Europe. It also aimed at extracting important lessons for coping with forest fires. Speakers presented their views and attendees worked to determine future actions which will reduce devastating consequences of forest fires. The discussions attempted to address the following questions:

  • What are the causes of having such large scale forest fires
  • How we can reinforce assistance exchange?
  • How we can use state of the art technologies during crisis management?
  • How we cope with severely burned people?
  • Is European co-ordination of assistance possible?

Proceedings have been published in FFNet 2 (ECFF publication)

2. Teleconference entitled “Short and long term health impacts of forest fire smoke on the fire fighters and the exposed population” took place on the 31st of May 2005

      This teleconference was organized by the ECFF, which operates in the framework of Eur-OPA initiative of the Council of Europe. The main goal was to bring together scientists and operational people so that to define key aspects regarding forest fire smoke health impacts on population and firemen and also to propose further actions needed.Participants from Cyprus, France, Greece, Morocco and Portugal, as well as the Council of Europe contributed with their expertise and knowledge and also provided with opinions, know-how and recommendations. 

       A catalogue of ideas has been addressed with the prospect of future work on issues regarding: 

  • Forest fire smoke chemical synthesis, toxicology and possible health impacts
  • On-line monitoring of air quality in a forest fire
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) for the fire-fighters and population
  • Exposure limits to forest fire smoke components
  • Evacuation criteria, emphasizing on the sensitive groups of population

Please find more details in the third volume of the Forest Fire Net publication (FFNet 3 )

3. Workshop entitled “Air-quality monitoring in the field and personal protective equipment in big forest fire incidents: a state-of-the art and beyond”, took place in Paris, 12-13 of December 2005

       This workshop was organized by the ECFF within the framework of the Eur-OPA Major Hazards Agreement of the Council of Europe. It was meant to be a sampler of cutting-edge technologies for air-quality monitoring in emergency situations, in order to further elaborate the results of the Teleconference entitled: “Short and long term health impacts of forest fire smoke on the fire fighters and the exposed population”.


  • Air-quality monitoring in emergency situations as part of an Early Warning System
  • Field chemical analysis as a tool for on-line, fast and reliable detection of a hazardous environment
  • Multidisciplinary approaches and innovative methods for protecting the forest fire-fighters and the population from forest fire smoke impacts
  • Exposure limits and methods for exposure assessment
  • Risk assessment of forest fire smoke

Please find more details in the fourth volume of the Forest Fire Net publication FFNet 4

4. ECFF has collaborated with the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) for organizing a panel session entitled: “Air Pollution from Wildfires-Problems related to Fire Smoke Pollution, Human Health & Air Traffic/Aerial Firefighting Security".

        This session was organized in the framework of the Aerial Fire-fighting Conference” 21st - 22nd October 2008 Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens, Greece, organized by Tangent Link Ltd.
A number of scientists and experts participated in this panel session with the following presentations:

  • “Radioactive wildland fire smoke pollution and human security, by J.G. Goldammer”, Director GFMC
  • “Health impacts of wildfire smoke on possible receptors and recommended tools for copying with them”, by M. Statheropoulos, Director ECFF
  • “Northern California Fires of 2008", by Mr T. Harbour, Director USDA Forest Service Fire & Aviation Management
  • "Smoke from forest fires and visibility impairment", by Dr A. Miranda, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • "Aerial Fire-fighting Security related to Fire Smoke Pollution" - Dr N. Kovalev & Dr A. Eritsov, National Aerial Forest Fire Center of Russia

       Operational people have also participated in the panel with comments, such as Mr Anthony Marrone Chief, Air Operations, Country of Los Angeles Fire Department (USA) and Colonel F. P. Villar, Commander of the 43rd Group, Spanish Air Force, Spain. During this session a number of issues have been discussed such as:

  • Acute, short-term and long-term health impacts of vegetation fire smoke (VFS) on ground personnel
  • Possible health impacts on aerial personnel
  • Early warning systems
  • On-line monitoring of air quality in the field-technologies
  • Radioactivity of vegetation fire smoke
  • Exposure to VFS- Exposure limits
  • Different levels of copying with VFS impacts
  • PPE
  • Visibility impairment
  • Cabin air-quality for aerial air-means
  • Case studies and lessons learned
  • Archives of episodes

5. Workshop on: "Human Rights in Disasters: Search and Rescue operations in disasters especially for vulnerable people", 5th and 6th of November 2009, Athens, Greece

       The workshop is organized by the Council of Europe (EUR-OPA), the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the General Secretary of Civil Protection in Greece (ECFF/GSCP).

       Human rights in natural disasters and especially the search and rescue of vulnerable population groups (i.e. people with mobility, sight or hearing difficulties), is an issue that should be examined. Currently, this domain appears that suffers from the lack of procedures and specialized technologies. In an attempt to cope with existing gaps, a workshop is organized to discuss, exchange ideas and propose solutions.

       The workshop aims among others at developing a network of people and organizations that will encourage and reinforce solutions. Among the expected outputs is the identification of policies and strategies in order to increase the capabilities for coping with disasters, focusing on people with disabilities.

       More specifically, the workshop will be structured around the following major issues:

  • Human rights in disasters : An overview
  • What are the existing approaches - Identify the gaps - Define new requirements
  • How to search and rescue the elderly and people with disabilities (e.g. mobility problems, sight or hearing impairment); Enhancing emergency plans
  • Preparedness and preventive measures
  • Build a common understanding

6. Videoconference on “Recent Developments and Needs for Wildfire Fighting on the Ground:Tactics and Technologies”

       ECFF, in collaboration with the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the FP7 project “Fire Retardant Hoses Lines for Forestry Fire-Fighting Applications- FIRELI (No 222152)” have joint efforts together with the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) and the United Nations University and co-organized an International video-conference entitled “Recent developments and needs for ground methods and tools for forest fire suppression” that took place on the 10th of June 2010.

      Main topics of the teleconference agenda were tactics and training in ground forest fire suppression, technologies and ground means used, as well as end-user requirements.

      The announcement of the event, as well as the presentations can be free downloaded here (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

7. Conference: “Evacuation of Buildings in Case of Emergency for People with Disabilities”, 31/10/2017, Multimedia Auditorium, Library, NTUA

     The workshop has been organized by the NTUA, GSCP and ECFF/EUR-OPA. The main goal was to promote dialogue among experts and representatives from the disability community on the issue of emergency response for people with disabilities.
A catalogue of ideas has been outlined, such as that the Engagement of People with Disabilities and Substantive Involvement of Organizations of the Disability Community in Emergency Planning seems substantial for the reinforcement of community resilience upon disaster risks. 

More information on the conference is available here (pdf)

8. Conference:” SAFEKOZANI” Novel technologies for Civil Protection”, 31/10-3/11, 2018, Kozani, Greece

ECFF has participated with a poster entitled: Disaster preparedness & Response for Vulnerable groups of population: Evacuation planning of Critical Infrastructures in case of a fire for people with disabilities.
Presentation is available here (pdf)

More information on the conference is available here:

9. " Help for All” Conference, organized by the Italian National Fire Department, National Fire Academy, 5 April 2018, Rome

Presentation: Fire Safety and Evacuation Planning as a tool for copying with emergency situation: The case of people with disabilities.

The presentation is available here (pdf)

More information on the workshop is available here:

10. International Conference “Enceladus 2019: Earthquake: Prevention, Disaster Management and Infrastructure Resilience” 9 of March 2019

Presentation title: “Disaster Preparedness and Response for vulnerable groups of Population: How to prepare a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan”

The presentation is available here (pdf)

More information on the conference is available here:

11. Workshop on inclusion of vulnerable groups and disaster risk reduction, 18-19 September 2019, Baku, Azerbaijan

The workshop has been organized under the aegis of EUR-OPA and ECFF was invited to participate with the presentation: Coping with Disaster Risks focusing on Vulnerable People: Challenges for inclusive fire safety”

The presentation is available here (pdf)

More information on the workshop is available here:

12. Joint meeting of the Groups of Experts on Protected Areas and Ecological Networks and on Biodiversity and Climate Change, 3-4 October, 2019, Trondheim, Norway

ECFF has participated with a presentation entitled: “State-of-the art technologies as Early Warning Systems for mitigating Climate Change Related Risks: The case of Forest Fires and the generated Smoke”

The presentation is available here

13. Webinar "Earthquakes in the midst of the pandemic" - 19 November 2020, EQ and pandemic Scenario – Greek experience and view, organized by EUR-OPA, 19-11-2020

ECFF has participated in this conference with a presentation relevant to “Multi-hazards and vulnerable groups: What are the COVID-19 pandemic crisis impacts on people with disabilities in case of coexistence with natural or man-made disasters”.
The presentation is available here (pdf)

More information on the webinar is available here:

Case Studies

Case Study 1: Evacuation of a Maternity Hospital in case of an earthquake or a fire.

In the framework of this study, special attention was given to vulnerable groups, including infants, pregnant women and/or people with disabilities.

Results: A fire and an earthquake scenario were produced for running a Table-Top exercise. Indicative Fire Escape Plans were prepared for a Maternity Hospital in the line of “Universal Design”.

The case study is available here (pdf)

Case study 2: Forest fire in Central Evia, Greece in Summer 2019: Impact on particulates’ level in Attica

Under the framework of the ECFF’s project “Recommendations/Guidelines for the protection of vulnerable groups of population especially in the wildland urban interface (WUI) areas”, a case study on the particulates’ concentration measured in Attica Greece due to a big forest fire in Central Evia, took place.

Results: Study dedicated to environmental and health impacts of forest fire smoke, focusing on the vulnerable groups of population; Prepare dissemination campaigns for citizens, especially for those who live in forest-surface municipalities (WUI) in order to promote forest fire risk culture and increase their coping capacity, including the more vulnerable ones e.g. people with disabilities.


The case study is available here (pdf)