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Ras Laffan Industrial City, QATAR — Officials from the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) joined dignitaries and leaders from the government, industry, military and emergency response community at the grand opening of the Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College (RLESC) in Ras Laffan Industrial City, Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 12. Representing TEEX at the inauguration were TEEX Director Gary Sera, Robert Moore, Brian Stipe, Mark Jackson and Gordon Lohmeyer.

The college is expected to serve as a “hallmark” of emergency and safety training, serving firefighters and emergency responders not only from Qatar, but also the Middle East, Asia and North Africa.

The Ras Laffan Emergency & Safety College is a partnership and collaboration between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and will provide advanced training to professionals in the oil, gas, petrochemical, civil defense, civil and military aviation, and other sectors.

TEEX is the training provider for the college, and TEEX staff members have been based in Ras Laffan Industrial City since 2009. TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI), which operates Brayton Fire Training Field, collaborated on the original design of the 247-acre facility and many of the firefighting props. Sera and Lohmeyer currently serve as part of the Management Committee for the RLESC.

“Discussions culminating in construction of the RLESC have been ongoing since 2005,” said Lohmeyer, Executive Associate Division Director of TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute. “Members of the ESTI staff, including Chief Robert Moore and Mark Jackson, have spent considerable time in Qatar working on the design of this training complex. We currently have nine TEEX FTEs (full-time employees) living and working in Qatar. We are very proud of the staff we have put together to represent TEEX in Qatar. TEEX’s accreditation and certifications that we will provide to the participants attending training courses at RLESC are a very important part of our relationship with QP.”

The employees representing TEEX in Qatar include Jon Swain (Head of Emergency Training at RLESC), Julian Grajeda, Douglas Hogan, Harvey Stewart, Aaron Bridge, Leon Hudson, Brandon Champion, Alex Mandy and Ross Gourlay.

At a press conference at the opening, officials said RLESC will start with 32 training courses in fire emergency and safety, industrial firefighting, search and rescue, hazardous materials, emergency medical services, and civil defense and aviation, and will extend to 50 courses in health, safety and environment, and public safety. Most of the courses offered by TEEX at RLESC are accredited by the internationally recognized National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (ProBoard).

The training academy features some of the most advanced teaching equipment and facilities, including industrial props specifically designed for the on- and off-shore oil and gas industry; civil defense training featuring a high-rise building, a commercial building, a villa, a cinema, a shopping center, a warehouse and forensics investigation structures; and search and rescue props including a confined space rescue prop as well as a “collapsed” building.

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Kathy Fraser

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