The Serco International Fire Training Centre (IFTC) in Teesside, one of the world’s leading aviation fire training centres, is delighted to announce that it has won the Queen’s Award for Export.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, International Trade as it is formally known, recognises companies for outstanding achievements in exports and for contributing to the international reputation of the UK. IFTC is proud to have been recognised for this success and for its strong growth in exports over the last 21 years.
Serco’s IFTC has been achieving export success since 1996, and provides life-saving training to thousands of firefighters from around the world every year. Today it trains around 10,000 delegates each year, with these ranging from major customers such as NATO, the United Nations, France and Germany to smaller nations such as Romania and Tahiti.
Rupert Soames, Serco Group Chief Executive, said: “This is a huge honour for Serco. We are all immensely proud of the team at the IFTC and their achievements in training firefighters from around the world. The Centre has superb training facilities that are second to none and it enjoys an excellent reputation with its customers for its professionalism. This awards also recognises the commitment and dedication of the team.”
The IFTC’s success in exporting fire training services provides a significant contribution to the economy of the North East. Not only does the Centre employ 57 people and have around a further 100 associate instructors, but it also brings thousands of trainees to the region every year, boosting the local economy.
The IFTC has continually invested in developing its services to ensure they appeal to overseas customers, by training firefighters in-country, employing interpreters, using local training assets and adapting to different learning styles. As a result, the Centre has been particularly successful at retaining customers and the same teams from different countries consistently come back to the IFTC for more training. The Centre combines the right accreditations, training assets and instructor expertise and together these make for a compelling offer for domestic and overseas clients in the aviation industry.
The latest addition to the IFTC capability is the Rosenbauer Panther High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET). With many UK airports investing in these vehicles, and by the site having one, IFTC is able to incorporate the appropriate tactics and techniques in our training using the Rosenbauer HRET.
In 2016 the IFTC became the first organisation in the UK – and only the second in Europe – to receive international approval for its fire training service from the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO). The ICAO Associate Membership status not only reaffirms IFTC’s position as one of the world’s leading aviation training fire centres, but more importantly assures global customers that the centre meets rigorous international standards in terms of the quality of training provision.
Gary Watson, Serco’s Business Operations Manager at IFTC said: “We are thrilled to have won the Queens Award for Enterprise International Trade, which is testament to the hard work that the team at the IFTC in Darlington has been doing, contributing to the region’s exporting prowess, playing a vital role in upskilling firefighters from around the world, and keeping passengers and aviation facilities safe.”