10/18/2010 12:00 AM
RAS LAFFAN, QATAR - Twenty Qatar Petroleum (QP) Fire Protection Program trainees are beginning their fourth week of a 20-week basic recruit academy conducted by TEEX at the Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College (RLESC) in Ras Laffan, Qatar. The Pro Board certification course is the first course delivery for the TEEX team in Qatar and includes the NFPA Standards for Firefighter 1 & 2 and Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations.
The training program is being conducted at Ras Laffan Industrial City, Fire Station No. 2, and the live-fire evolutions will utilize the existing fire training props on the RLESC campus, said RLESC General Manager Jon Swain of TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute. Participants who successfully complete the basic academy program will obtain their certification and be appointed as probationary firefighters for Qatar Petroleum, he added. The recruit fire academy program is led by TEEX Fire/HazMat Coordinator Ronald Larson, with additional instructional assistance by several QP fire officers and instructors.
TEEX is managing the training facility in Qatar under an agreement with state-owned Qatar Petroleum, which is building the 200-acre Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College to serve emergency responders from throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Once completed, it will be the largest emergency services training facility in the Middle East. The large-scale facility, scheduled for completion in 2011, will include training props for industrial, HazMat, municipal, rescue and emergency medical services, said Robert Moore, Associate Director of TEEX's Emergency Services Training Institute.
"This is a very big operation, and the culmination of about five years of assessments, collaboration and negotiation," Moore said. "TEEX-ESTI is providing the curriculum and will be offering the same U.S. and international certifications and credentials at RLESC that we offer at Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station," he added. Future course offerings will include industrial firefighting, incident command and officer training.
Under an agreement signed in 2009, TEEX will operate the training college for QP for 10 years, and then staffing will migrate over to QP and the facility will become a TEEX Cooperative Learning Center (CLC), Moore said. Currently, TEEX has four staff members assigned to the RLESC in Qatar.
In addition to training emergency response personnel, TEEX will assist in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) safety research program, which is also under development on the Ras Laffan campus. The program is a joint initiative of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M University, TEEX-ESTI, Qatar Petroleum and the Qatar Foundation, Texas A&M University at Qatar, and other industries. The program is patterned on a similar LNG program conducted at the Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station. Process Safety Center Director and Regents Professor M. Sam Mannan is overseeing the development of the Qatar LNG initiative.