By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Â BelemaOil Producing Limited, a Port Harcourt-based indigenous oil company has inaugurated its firefighting department with the certification of 33 trainees.
The firefighters, who were trained by TDI Global, a North American-based firefighting training firm, are to operate with three world-class firefighting vehicles for starters.
Speaking at the certification ceremony in Port Harcourt after a demonstration by the graduands, the Executive Vice-President, Human Resources, Administration and Corporate Affairs of BelemaOil, Mrs. Rosemary Asiegbu, described the feat as a milestone for the indigenous oil firm.
Â Asiegbu commended theÂ Founder/President of Belemaoil, Mr. Jack-Rich Tein Jr, for the vision to bring TDI Global from North America to train the 33 green-horns into world-class firefighters, pointing out that the firefighters would not be for Belemaoil alone.
Â She said: “Belemaoil is the first indigenous oil company that is going ahead on to implement our Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) policy and our neighbours will benefit from the firefighters and the firefighting vehicles.
Â “At Belemaoil, we don’t think about ourselves, we think about others, about our community. Our firefighting department will be available to people outside Belemaoil. Whenever there is fire, we will go there to save lives.”
Â The Executive Vice-president informed the firefighters that the company would continue to help them update their skills through further training both within and outside the country to further sharpen their tactics on firefighting.
Â Asiegbu, who reminded the firefighters that their job was serious and multifaceted, advised them to be prepared always whether they are on duty or not, because they are considered as potential heroes.
She added: “The job we are giving the firefighters will be beyond Belemaoil. We will continue to train the firefighters, even overseas. Firefighting is a serious job. Firefighters should be prepared always whether they are on duty or not.”
Â Presenting the certificates, the instructor and Fire Chief Training Officer of TDI Global, Gary Eve, said he was amazed at the speed with which the trainees, most of whom had no previous firefighting skills, keyed into the training to be certified within 31 days.
Â â€œI wish to thank the President of BelemaOil for taking the initiative. The trainees were fantastic. More than 90 per cent of them had no firefighting experience but were able to cope and learn to be certified with basic firefighting certificate,â€ he said.
Â He disclosed that there were plans to send some of the firefighters to the United States of America for further training.