VSS Faculty Interview with Dario Gauš
Please briefly introduce yourself and your current position.
I was born in 1975 and I started my career as a professional firefighter in 1994 when I joined Rijeka Fire Brigade and worked as firefighter and fire truck driver. In 2002 I was promoted to shift commander and in 2004 I was promoted to fire brigade assistant commander. Since 2008 till today I am the fire brigade deputy commander. Moreover, I am also a president of Klana Voluntary Fire Brigade. I was incident commander in numerous fire and rescue emergencies. I also have a lot of experience in managing more complex fire and rescue operations such are structural fires, wild land fires, marine fire and rescue, chemical accidents and technical rescue.
In 2002, at College of Occupational Safety and Health – Zagreb I obtained the title of a graduate safety engineer – fire safety, and in 2004 the same title, however in occupational safety. Since 2006 I have a master degree in the safety field. At College of Occupational Safety and Health – Zagreb I am the head of the Fire Safety Division and I teach Firefighting Equipment and Professional Practice. At the Croatian National Fire Academy, I teach Fire Tactics. As a fire instructor, I am actively involved in the training of firefighters, not only at the county level, but also at the state and international level. I am involved in and organize training in the field of structural firefighting and rope rescue for both, professional and volunteer firefighters.
Since Rijeka FB was the first Croatian fire brigade that has brought Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) into service back in 2002, I am one of the Croatian CAFS pioneers, so CAFS is one of my special points of interest. Since 2010 I am also a member of International Fire Instructors Workshop (IFIW). Furthermore, I am also an author of several published professional papers and articles, co-author of the Volunteer firefighters training manual and have also written the Klana Voluntary Fire Brigade Monograph. As a representative of Rijeka Fire Brigade, I participate in the activities of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, through which I have successfully completed several courses in the field of crisis management.
What is your field of expertise and what do you teach at VSS?
Field of expertise: Fire Safety
Function: Head of Fire Safety Division
- Firefighting Equipment
- Professional Practice
- Fire Risk Assessment
Why do you think Occupational Health and Safety is important, especially in organizations?
The worker is the key to success of any organization. With that being said, the employer’s care for the worker exceeded the consideration of only the costs, caused by eventual worker’s absence due to injury or occupational diseases. Today, in the light of modern cognition in the field of occupational safety, the employer must look in long-term and respect the worker as an equal partner in the field of occupational safety, which will positively affect the professional development of the worker as an individual within a healthy and safe team.
Which job positions in the field of Occupational Health and Safety are highly in demand?
It is hard to consider occupational safety as a separate division, but rather as a function integrated into all spheres of activities within an organization. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the employer to have experts in the field of occupational safety who will be able to successfully implement it in the organizational units and transfer their knowledge to workers in order to prevent injuries and occupational diseases.
What advice would you give to VSS students (current/future students)?
Always be ready to do and give more than you are asked to do. It is the key of an individual’s success within an organization. College is the right place to prepare yourselves for the future professional life. Use your professors. They may not have the answers to all of your questions, but by constant interaction you encourage them to work continuously and to improve their personal knowledge and skills that they pass on to you and your future fellow students. With the acquisition of a diploma and a degree, the school is just beginning, so be prepared for lifelong learning which is the basis for building a future expert in the field of occupational and/or fire safety.
How can VSS benefit to students and their future employability?
VSS professors are people with a professional background who selflessly transfer the years of their experience and acquired knowledge to their students. However, upon the completion of the college, the contact does not end. The paths of lecturers and students are intertwined through the profession even after graduation. Furthermore, professors will potentially open the doors to students’ future employers.
Is there any specific situation/ experience that you would highlight where Occupational Health and Safety turned out to be of high significance?
As a person coming from the fire service, I can point out a number of cases where the principles of safety at work were crucial for the safety of the firefighter while performing firefighting tasks. In addition, over the last 15 years or so, health awareness was developed among firefighters. They recognized the change in fuel within the living environment and focused on the hazards arising from the combustion of synthetic materials and long-term exposure to the products of their combustion.