Supplying Professional Firefighting and Emergency Response in Iraq
An IOC in the Al Kut region of Southern Iraq needed a professional firefighting and emergency response brigade as start-up approached. Stirling Group was engaged to recruit, train and manage a dedicated fire service, made up of local nationals.
Our approach was to recruit local nationals in the Al Kut area, with the aim of sending them to the UK to our partner, the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh for intensive fire and emergency response training.
Recruitment and selection process took place in-country, where our experienced expatriate fire officers vetted over 500 Iraqi candidates 70 posts in the initial training stage. We obtained UK entry visas for the Iraqi recruits for their 12-week training course where they gained the knowledge, skills and abilities to operate as probationary firefighters.
They were guided and mentored by an experienced management team, which also introduced specific procedures and protocols for all fire systems including inspection, training, appraisal, and HR guidelines.
On graduation, 52 newly trained firefighters participated in further intensive training focusing on specific roles within the fire brigade, before joining the concession in July 2014. The team now consists of both Stirling Group expatriate officers and local national firefighters. The senior management structure is made up of expatriate staff and team leaders are bilingual to ensure communication lines are clear.
The contract will continue until 2016, with the intention of replacing approximately 50% of the expatriate staff with local national fire fighters, in support of the IOC’s social inclusion programme. The model developed is now recognised by other IOCs in Iraq and the GCC as being a professionally attractive and cost effective solution.