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Serco trains UN firefighters based in Afghanistan

Published: 27 Jan 2016

Serco's International Fire Training Centre (IFTC) in Teesside, one of the world's leading aviation fire training centres, has recently trained a delegation from the United Nations (UN) fire safety leadership team based in Afghanistan.

The senior UN fire officers underwent two weeks of intensive aviation fire training at the Centre, which is based at Durham Tees Valley Airport, near Darlington in December 2015.

The UN fire safety team in Afghanistan provides firefighting cover to regional and provincial air terminals, air fields and Helicopter Landing Sites across the country.  The diverse team is made up of fire officers from various UN member states including the USA, Philippines, Uzbekistan and France.

ITFC’s experts provided the group with a mixture of theoretical and hands-on training, which covered crash rescue and incident command for both fixed and rotary winged aircraft.

The UN team described the facilities as “excellent”, praised Serco staff - in particular their lead trainer, Walter Moore who “epitomises professionalism” - and plan to send more firefighters to the Centre for training in future.

Alonzo Baldwin, one of the UN fire officers on the course, commented: “The way IFTC can combine theoretical training with a full blown exercise makes it a truly world-class facility in firefighting.”

Serco's Gary Watson, Business Operations Manager for the IFTC, said: “Teesside is a far cry from Afghanistan, but our unique facilities enable us to train firefighters from around the globe for all eventualities. It was a real privilege to support the UN team who operate in a life protecting role in one of the world’s hot spots. We are delighted that they found the course of such great value.”

IFTC currently trains around 10,000 delegates from around the world each year. Its experts are firefighting professionals with extensive hands-on experience across military, industrial and civilian ranks.