Oil firm expresses readiness in filling knowledge gap in Nigeria’s fire fighting system

With urbanization and industrialization birthing the need for more possibility for fire-outbreak, Nigeria based Oil servicing firm Prime Atlantic, a subsidiary of Prime Atlantic Limited is organizing a capacity building training for fire fighters in Nigeria, in a bid to increase the knowledge gap needed in the efficient running of Nigeria’s fighting system.

According to Prime Atlantic Limited, the wholly owned Nigerian company dedicated to effecting development in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, it’s training program will not only expose Nigeria fighters to international best practices but also allow participants participate in four selected courses needed in filling the knowledge gap recorded in the sector.

The Director of Business Development at Prime Atlantic, Folake Soyannwo disclosed that the firm facility in Ogun state on about 50 acres of land, is the only facility in Nigeria that can provide the internally recognized practical training that is required by the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

In terms guaranteeing standard, Soyannwo explained that Prime Atlantic have also gained third-party accreditation for all the courses and training delivered, which not only guarantees the standard of the training but further allows clients have confidence in the training system delivered.

The training organized with partnership with the UK based Fire Service College would bring together 40 firefighters from across the federation from 10th of June till 21st June 2019.

On the reason for the specific interest in fire fighting since Prime Atlantic’s training are conducted to Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organization (OPITO) standards for the offshore and marine sectors, Soyannwo said the company is into interested in safety, survival and emergency response which is the reason why it’s focused on fire fighting.

“The first set of people we had here were NNPC firemen and the feedback immediately was the fact that some of the firemen are seeing or handling fire equipment they have previously seen from a distance,” Soyannwo said.

Notably since the invasion of petrodollars in Nigeria, there has been massive, but haphazardly coordinated expansion in economic activities across the country. This development has made fire incidents such as petrol loading bays, tank farms, pipelines and other similar sources a major source of danger to the public safety and property.

Soyannwo further revealed that Falck Prime Atlantic would be collaborating with the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK to ensure that the training meets international standards for professional fire fighters.

Kelvin Keeler, the head of International training at Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh, UK said the College is well equipped to deal with the fire challenges in tropical areas like Nigeria and further express its readiness to provide capacity training for international fire fighting agencies, oil and gas fire fighting agencies and counter-terrorism training.

“Whatever the course of fire is whether deliberate, sabotage, industrial accident or  a natural accident, Fire Service College is well equipped to train the fire fighters on the techniques it takes in dealing with incidents and the environmental damage it would have on people’s health,” Keeler told journalists.

While also discussing the challenges of Quick response in Nigeria, Keeler explained said a lot of things such as fire stations, fire truck, skilled personnel and infrastructural facilities still need much improvement in Nigeria.

Keeler said bringing global experience to support the fire service is one of the major challenges facing the fire fighting in Nigeria as there is need to make sure there is a knowledge transferred across the whole fire services which are a very key component because it’s a long term commitment.

The Director at Prime Atlantic Limited said the company have being able to grow its training personnel from an eight-man team of Nigerian instructors to a 27 man team while also noting that it’s also moved from three full-time expatriate team members to 100 per cent Nigerian team.

On the next move, she said Prime Atlantic Limited have already started skills development training that will create job and opportunities for Nigeria people.

“It not our responsibility to find them jobs but it’s something we are looking into that is why we are warehousing a lot of data of those who have passed through the training which we can easily send to companies,” Director at Prime Atlantic Limited said.