Serco's International Fire Training Centre (IFTC) in Teesside, one of the world's leading aviation fire training centres, recently completed training a delegation from NATO’s firefighting team based in Germany.
The NATO fire officers underwent a week of intensive aviation fire training at the Centre, which is based at Durham Tees Valley Airport, near Darlington in November.
The NATO fire team in Germany provides firefighting cover to NATO airbases across the country. As military firefighters, the NATO team are required to attend fire emergency incidents on cargo and fighter aircrafts.
Whilst at the IFTC, the NATO team carried out 13 exercises on 8 different rigs. The simulated aircrafts used to provide the group with an authentic training experience included: Trident Aircraft, Tornado Aircraft, Boeing 767 (category 8 & 9) and S76 Helicopters.
Josef Moll, a NATO firefighter based near Cologne, in Germany, commented: “As NATO firefighters we have to deal with fuel fires and at the IFTC we are able to undergo realistic training as we are afforded the opportunity to use all types of fuel fire equipment – this is the only place in the world where we have the opportunity to train under realistic conditions.”
Serco's Dennis Perkins, Director of Training at IFTC, said: “As a world leading fire training centre we are delighted that NATO continues to choose the IFTC to undertake their training. The NATO contingent has been training at the site since 1998 where we have been able to provide them with an authentic training experience.”
IFTC facilitating transition from military to civilian work life
Over the past year IFTC has trained a number of ex-military fire service personnel who have already gained employment at a UK civil airport and firefighters still serving within the Armed Forces, employed in a Fire Service specialisation. Recently, we have run firefighter courses for RAF firefighters that provide accreditation from the Civil Aviation Authority and are recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. On leaving the RAF fire service, we have had a number of self-sponsors that have trained at IFTC before moving into the civil aviation workforce.
IFTC currently trains around 10,000 delegates from over 80 counties each year. Its experts are firefighting professionals with extensive hands-on experience across military, industrial and civilian operations.