The 2015 Aerial Fire Fighting Europe conference took place this year in Zadar, Croatia on April 29 and 30. During the dinner event on the 29th the second Walt Darran International Aerial Firefighting Award was presented to Philippe Bodino. The Award is given annually to recognize a significant contribution by an individual or organization to aerial firefighting.
Colonel Philippe Bodino is a French firefighter who was heavily involved in ground firefighting but was also an “officier aero” (ie, Air Tactical Group Supervisor, or ATGS). He was director of the French Fire Academy (Ecole Nationale Superieur des Officiers de Sapeur-Pompiers) and led a group who wrote the manual for Sécurité Civile Fire Fighters on how to manage aerial fire fighting assets over incidents so that the aircraft could efficiently support ground troops.
The award for Mr. Bodino was presented by Richard Alder, General Manager of the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) in Australia. Mounted on the award is a model of Tanker 93, an S-2 flown by Mr. Darran when he was based at Chico, California.
The Walt Darran International Aerial Firefighting Award is named after the late Walt Darran who was a highly experienced airtanker pilot from California, USA, a constant and passionate advocate for safety and improvement in the aerial firefighting industry. In 2014, the first award was presented to George Petterson.