World Civil Defence Day 2014 was marked in Abu Dhabi with the 4th Annual Fire Safety Technology Forum under the patronage of His Royal Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister.
The event was held at the stunning Yas Vicerory hotel overlooking the Abu Dhabi F1 circuit and was opened by Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi FIFireE, Acting Director General of UAE Civil Defence. He welcomed Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior along with 158 Delegates from Civil Defence, Ministry of Interior, Police, other Government agencies and representatives from the fire and rescue industry.
In his opening address he said “It gives me great pleasure to open the 4th Annual Fire Safety Technology Forum UAE. In commemoration of the World Civil Defence Day 2014 and already in its fourth year, we are proud to see the growing legacy and impact of the Forum which highlights the Ministry of Interior’s and Civil Defence’s continuous efforts for highest safety standards and a culture of prevention in the UAE.
In partnership with our colleagues from the private industry this year’s forum is again introducing strategies and technologies for the protection of lives, properties and the environment of our nation. We are dedicating this year’s forum to Emergency Planning and Resilience and are pleased to welcome expert contributions who will share reports about incidents, combating strategies and best practices from around the world.
On the occasion of World Civil Defence Day, the FST Forum will contribute to further build our friendship and knowledge exchange with our international colleagues around the globe.
I am proud to witness the many campaigns initiated by our UAE Civil Defense which continue to result in significant reduction in loss of life and assets. Our 24×7 state of the art operations centre monitoring commercial premises, our e-services through the Dubai Civil Defence website, the design and implementation of the new UAE Fire & Life Safety Code of practice are just some of the achievements we are recognized for and which helped to become a first class leading agency for emergency response in the Middle East.
I would like to thank our main forum sponsors Emirates Response Services, Falck Safety Services and NAFFCO for their support, and I would like to invite all of our colleagues in the fire protection industry, locally and internationally to continue joining hands with us in our daily duty to protect our nation.”
The forum started with videos messages sent from senior fire officers from other countries congratulating the UAE Civil Defence on their endeavours to provide safer communities in the Emirates whilst recognising and celebrating World Civil Defence Day. Messages were received from the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser to the UK Government Peter Holland, CFO David Etheridge from Oxfordshire FRS, General Gaëtan Poncelin de Raucourt from Paris Fire Brigade and CFO Grant Lupton from South Australia FRS (the current International President of the IFE) which added to the international atmosphere of the day. The video messages shared a common theme of fire safety, protection, and service and sacrifice by members of the emergency services around the world.
The conference was moderated by Lt Colonel Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, Director of Operations, Dubai Civil Defence assisted by Andy Dean, Head of Facades, WSP Middle East. The guest speakers provided interesting and insightful presentations which were well received by the audience and were followed up by a panel discussion at the end of the forum led by Major General Al Matroushi.
The speakers and their presentation topics were:
- Chief Klaus Maurer – Fire Brigades Hamburg, Germany: Maritime fire response
- Tony Cash – Lead Fire Engineer at Transport for London and Chair at Rail Industry Fire Association: Mass transportation incidents
- Ioannis Galatas – Brig. General (ret.),MD, MA(Terr), MC(Army): Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Resilience Strategies
- Dr. Ian Borthwick – Advisor, Borthwick & Associates: Controlling Major Accident Hazards and Incident Preparedness. Best Practice in the Oil and Gas Industry
- Aaron F. Vanney – Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc. Associate Manager: The Role of Smoke Control Systems in NFPA Codes
- Dr. Peter Mansi – Managing Partner, Fire Investigations UK & Global and Forensic Fire Investigator: Fire Investigation – Completing the Circle of Fire Safety
The full presentations of the guest speakers can be viewed at www.youtube.com/channel/UCoQS 8YsQKm-0goXlzzKMEZw
In line with previous years, Major General Al Matroushi led a tour of senior commanders of all UAE Civil Defence forces around the small number of exhibitors and sponsors stopping to talk with each and learn more about their products. This personal, hands-on approach by UAE senior officers ensured that exhibitors got close and personnel contact with the decision makers of the region.
The small, informal nature of the FST forum created the perfect environment for networking opportunities between government, industry and other professionals and is one to be marked in your calendar for the 5th annual forum and the years beyond.
For more information, go to www.fst-uae.com