As a small child, I lived in a street where eight firefighters also had their homes. At the age of five, I went with them to the fire station. I got my own uniform and was allowed to ride along on Saturdays when maintenance was done on the fire engines.
Furthermore, I continued my schooling as a vehicle technician and after my military service, I became a volunteer at the fire brigade.
I went through several firefighter training courses, from fire officer to fire prevention engineer.
At the age of 40, I was able to turn my hobby as a volunteer into a professional firefighter and I have always continued to study vehicle technology.
Ten years ago, I noticed that there was a lack of good information for the fire service regarding new energy sources.
We should also not forget that the majority of first responders work in addition to their main job. The technological (r)evolution is going so fast, many of the responders are no longer on the information train…
This does not benefit the safety of us all. We must not get into an information vacuum!
One uniform standard for providing information to responders
This is when my dream came for me to harmonize information for first and second responders worldwide. I have drawn my ideas and proposals at my desk at home.
The final goal is to have one uniform standardized global way of providing information for first- and second-responders, regardless of technology, means of transport, so that they can do their job safely and adequately, provided with standardized crucial and life-saving information.
My ideas and proposals were noticed by the federal government and with thanks to their progressive vision I got the opportunity to shape them. To tackle this directly on a global scale, I was appointed as a project leader for ISO/TC22/SC 36/WG 7 as an expert of the Bureau for standardization in Belgium for: Centre of Expertise for the Civil Security (KCCE) and the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services (CTIF).
In consultation with various actors, I was tasked as project leader with the development of four ISO standards, with the aim of making the provision of vehicle information to worldwide responders uniform and as simple as possible. This is done by providing the worldwide manufacturers with clear and uniform guidelines.
By developing templates, symbols and information guidelines, the vehicle manufacturer has tools to provide its information in a uniform way so that the emergency services can perform their task safely and adequately.
With a lot of ups and downs, but never giving up ISO 17840 part 1/2/3/4 for road vehicles (Passenger cars, Busses, trucks) was born.
Next step: uniform information provision to be extended to:
- Railroad vehicles
- Motorsport vehicles
- Maritime vehicles
- Agriculture, construction and heavy machinery vehicles
- Air vehicles
- Stationary Energy Storage systems
- Stationary power producing systems
- Future systems that need to have the same approach
The best solution is to create ISO standards for this in line with ISO 17840 for road vehicles, so information follows the same logic as the already-published ISO 17840 standard.
However, the development of these standards takes several years and there is an urgent need for clear crucial information for prevention, proaction, intervention and training purposes regarding new energies.
Solution: I am working as an independent expert with my knowledge as creator and project leader of ISO 17840 on separate guidelines on how to build responder information for all possible extensions as mentioned above. This is an intermediate step towards ISO standards.
The advantage for worldwide responders is that the crucial information (if provided as requested) is known from the start and not afterwards.
For more information, email email@example.com