Ireland's Fire and Rescue Service Professionals to 'Expect the Unexpected' at Annual Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) Conference

Responding to terrorist attacks and planning for potential emergencies are among the key topics to be discussed at the annual Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA) Conference, which is taking place in Croke Park, Dublin on May 3 and May 4. 

Hosted by Dublin Fire Brigade, the conference entitled 'Expect the Unexpected' will be addressed by emergency service experts from Paris, Washington DC, Amsterdam, the UK and Ireland. 

The CFOA Conference 2017 is the premier showcase event for Ireland's Fire and Rescue Service professionals and will also feature a Fire Industry and Technology Exhibition over the two days.

  • The keynote speaker at this year’s conference is Brigadier General Philippe Boutinaud, Commander of the Paris Fire Brigade, who will discuss the Paris terrorist attacks and the response of his 2,000 members to this unprecedented emergency.
  • Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean, Washington DC will share his experience of Emergency Medical Services within the US Fire Services, while discussing the challenges and opportunities of the US services during the second day of the conference.
  • Peter Holland, Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, Home Office will provide an overview of the UK Fire Service.
  • Dr Robert MacFarlane, UK, Cabinet Office will have delegates “Thinking about Emergencies in the Round”; while Alan Breen, Media Relations and Marketing Manager and Independent Newspapers journalist Paul Melia will provide advice on “Media Communications in a Crisis”.
  • The subject of “Business Intelligence in the Fire Service” will be addressed by John Lynch, Senior Systems Officer, Dublin City Council, with talks also from Group Manager, Steve Rossiter, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service; Elie Van Strien, Former Chief Fire Officer of Eindhoven, Rotterdam & Amsterdam; Sean Hogan, National Director, National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management; Hunters Apparel Solutions Limited;  Respro Limited and Mallon Technology.

The conference will be officially opened by Minister of State, Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, Damien English T.D.

Speaking ahead of the conference Chairman of the CFOA and Chief Fire Officer, Dublin Fire Brigade Patrick Fleming said, “The CFOA annual conference has become a way for us in the emergency services to learn from each other and draw on the experiences of our international peers.  The role of emergency services is becoming more complex in the face of new and ever evolving threats to public safety.  There are global issues which challenge all emergency services and we must learn from the best practice available.  This conference provides an opportunity for sharing information and knowledge and learning from the experiences of others.”

The CFOA comprises the Chief Fire Officers from all Local Authorities in Ireland. The Association is also a member of the Federation of European Fire officers Associations.

Further details on the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Conference 2017 are available on