s the summer months come to a close in the Middle East and we look forward to the cooler climate of the winter period, it is a time to focus implementing and updating our branch business plan. There are several key areas to focus on over the coming months and these include:
- Building on our previous success and providing an examination center for the October 2018 Examinations (8th October 2018).
- Representing the branch at the International Group Assembly meeting in Edinburgh on 30th October 2018.
- Representing the branch at the International Conference and Centenary Dinner in Edinburgh 31st October – 1st November 2018.
- Reviewing and updating the branch business plan to reflect current objectives and goals.
- Promote and support the development and formation of groups in other GCC countries under the guidance of the branch.
- Developing a Sponsorship Prospectus and programme for the branch.
- Establishing and promulgating a timetable for meetings and events.
- Supporting the development of the Firefighter Safety Database with data collated from the Middle East.
A fundamental reason for establishing a regional branch of the Institution is to facilitate the meeting of members. Now the foundation building blocks for the branch have been established by the Founding Committee including a licence, local registration and a bank account a program of meetings should therefore be established.
Meetings should be organised to meet local conditions and requirements, and it may be that initially meetings take place alongside other meetings that might be attended by members or potential members. There are generally no restrictions to the format of meetings and they can be held at whatever time of day is most convenient and can be as long or short as necessary.
The content of meetings is more important than the frequency or location of meetings, since a well thought out agenda is more likely to attract members, potential members and sponsors. Interesting relevant subjects delivered by local high profile and proficient speakers will draw in the members and establish a reputation for the Branch as being an organisation that provides real value.
The cost of meetings may need to be funded by those who attend, or by sponsorship (see below) and access to meeting facilities is something that can sometimes be provided by an employer of local members, using company or an organisation’s facilities.
Fire Engineers and Civil Defence personnel who are not yet members of the Branch or the Institution should be encouraged to attend such meetings and made to feel welcome. This is an ideal opportunity to recruit them into membership. It is a matter for local discretion to determine how many times a prospective member should be allowed to take advantage of the facilities offered by the Branch without becoming a member.
The branch business plan outlines the need for local and international sponsorship to support our activities and help organic growth of the branch. The IFE, as a professional institution strives to promote and further the development of best practice in the fire sector and we believe that fire engineers are shaping the built environment delivering sustainable development through knowledge, skills and professional expertise.
The mission of the branch is to support the development of the profession across the GCC and UAE by providing its members with the opportunities and forums to learn, exchange knowledge, share best practice and ultimately support the path to fully qualified membership of the IFE along with the best in the profession from around the world.
To attract sponsorship the branch has to be seen as providing good value for any investment whether monetary or in time/resources. A programme of events may include some of the following activities:
- Presidential Tour – working closely with the UK Headquarters to bring senior personnel to the region.
- Membership awards ceremony – to recognise and celebrate individual achievements through examination etc.
- Middle East Convention – an annual event which will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops looking at the industry across the Middle East.
- Gala Dinner
- Learned Events – featuring an array of speakers across a variety of disciplines exploring a diverse range of topics which align closely with the IFE’s core competencies. It would be proposed to provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours for attending delegates.
- Educational Programmes – to connect and promote fire engineering/safety at schools, universities and similar establishments.
The structure of sponsorship levels are highlighted in the Business Plan and follows the Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze model but this can be adjusted to suit specific sponsorship entry levels and could be tailored for standalone events – we have a blank canvas to develop this structure.
One area of growth in the region that the Branch want to focus on is developing and supporting the formation of Groups. There has been very positive feedback from members particularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in this matter.
When the GCC UAE Branch was established, the intent was to provide a regional administrative hub for growth of the IFE in the Middle East. This hard work is now appearing to bear fruit with positive feedback being received. A Group has a similar setup to a branch with its own local governance but it is set-up under the local branch to optimise resources and administrative support. The Group can benefit from the banking facilities established by the branch to again improve efficiencies and avoid duplication of time and effort.
The forthcoming examination date has been set for 8th October 2018 and as a reminder two additional examinations have been added to the list offered, namely;
The Level 4 Fire Service Operations and Incident Command examination has been introduced following requests from examination centres.
The Level 3 Certificate in Passive Fire Protection examination is being offered for the first time. Information on this new qualification which was introduced in April 2018 is available at: https://www.ife.org.uk/IFE-Qualifications-with-Syllabus-Links.
I’d like to congratulate candidates who were successful in their efforts during the March 2018 examinations and wish candidates sitting examinations on the 8th October 2018 all the best.
International General Assembly (IGA)
The branch will be represented at the International General Assembly (IGA) to be held in Edinburgh on 30th October 2018 and the at the Centenary Conference and Gala Dinner. I will provide an update of all of these activities in the next Branch update.
It is encouraging to see local emergency planning and exercises taking place in the region and on 29th August 2018 in the presence of Major General Jassem Mohammed Al Marzouqi, General Commander of the Civil Defence, Colonel Expert Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, Acting Director General of Dubai Civil Defence and the Higher Committee of Exercises Evaluation headed by Col. Tarek Sharif, the General Directorate of Dubai Civil Defence carried out a joint exercise at the Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate in Dubai. The exercise aimed at measuring the readiness of the participating teams and their response time in case of fire. Beside Dubai Civil Defence, NCEMA, Dubai Police, Dubai Ambulance, RTA, DEWA, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality and Emirates Red Crescent participated in the exercise. The exercise has reflected a high level of readiness, response, implementation and results.
Also during the summer Dubai Civil Defence received a high ranking delegation from Jordan Civil Defence, with the aim to review and share the best practices implemented by Dubai Civil Defence. The visiting delegation were briefed on DCD main tasks, it’s strategic plan set to achieve safety in the present and reshaping the future. Also illustrated in detail was the 24×7 Smart buildings monitoring system, and its success seen in reducing the size and number of fire incidents that impact on the safety at buildings. The delegates were also given a full demonstration of the electronic central operations room, special operating procedures and a briefing on the latest communications technologies implemented.
It is encouraging to see this level of collaboration and sharing of best practice in the region and long may it continue. To close this update, the Branch is now well positioned to expand and grow, through the establishment of groups under the guidance and support of the GCC UAE Branch.
For more information, go to www.ife.org.uk/branches/GCC-UAE