IFSJ Exclusive: Inside Newcastle International Training Academy

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IFSJ takes an inside look at the fire training on offer at Newcastle International Airport

In 2022, Newcastle International Training Academy, which was officially recognised as a JOIFF Accredited Training Provider by JOIFF, the International Organisation for Industrial Emergency Services Management.

The accreditation, which was awarded by industry experts from the emergency services, recognises training providers who offer high quality training courses, facilities and a great learning experience capable of developing competency of emergency response personnel.

Gerry Johnson and Craig Kelsall, Consultants on behalf of JOIFF, visited Newcastle International Training Academy to undertake an audit of the training provisions and awarded the accreditation later that day. Formally recognising courses such as the Firefighter Bridging and Breathing Apparatus Instructor as trusted high quality training.

Johnson spoke about the accreditation process following the official certification, saying it: “Followed a rigorous audit of three elements of accreditation, including; looking at their establishment, including safety management systems and procedures; instruction, covering instructor experience, qualifications and mentoring systems; and the course programmes, looking at course content, and frequency of updating.”

IFSJ spoke to Gary Wright, Fire Manager at Newcastle International Airport, to find out about its new accreditation and the different kinds of training they have on offer for the fire professionals.

Can you tell me about the history of the training academy, when and why it was set up?

Customers expect quality training, and we believe at Newcastle International Airport that we have the right people and passion to be able to deliver commercial and industrial courses to businesses across the North East.

The Training Academy at the airport has been delivering professional training for nearly 30 years to ensure that fire services are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. The Academy now provides a range of training solutions including aviation, offshore and industrial firefighting courses, as well as health and safety practices, first aid, confined space and team building.

The Academy delivers training to clients from all over the world, recently including the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

What fire training courses are on offer at the Academy?

The Academy specialises in aviation and industrial fire fighter training, with a range of courses available, including; Breathing Apparatus Training; Fire Fighter (Initial and Revalidations); Supervisor (Initial and Revalidations); plus Fire Team Member and many more.

Our unique infrastructure allows us to offer hot fire training, allowing fire fighters to experience as close to a real-life scenario as possible during their training course on aircraft and industrial specific live simulations. 

Have you added any recent courses of note? 

After a rigorous audit, the Academy has recently been recognised as an accredited training provider by JOIFF, the International Organisation for Industrial Emergency Services Management. The courses that have been awarded this accreditation are:

  • Aviation Fire Fighter Bridging
  • Breathing Apparatus Instructor
  • Breathing Apparatus Refresher
  • Industrial Fire Fighter Team Member
  • Industrial Fire Fighter Refresher
  • Industrial Fire Fighter Initial
  • Industrial Fire Fighter Team Leader 

Following the success of our newly accredited training, the Academy recently submitted an application for JOIFF accreditation for additional courses. 

What other kinds of training does the Academy offer? 

The Academy offers an extensive catalogue of other courses from Team Building, First Aid and Health and Safety, through to highly specialised training including; Confined Space; Offshore Firefighting; Helicopter Fire Fighting; Breathing Apparatus Training; Wildlife Management and Winter Operations.

Why is fire training necessary in the aviation sector? 

Fire training is necessary in aviation in order to save lives in the event of an aircraft accident or incident occurring at or in the immediate vicinity of an airport.

Working on an active safety critical concept area allows our trainers to be up to date with the latest legislation and practices required in aviation.

We hope we never need to use our fire services, however, if the time comes, continual fire training is necessary to ensure that fire fighters are trained to the highest standards and have the knowledge and experience to respond to any situation.

How did the JOIFF accreditation come about, and what does this mean for the Academy?

JOIFF accreditation recognises training providers who offer high quality training courses, facilities and a great learning experience capable of developing competency of emergency response personnel.

The Academy prides itself on the high-quality training it delivers and this accreditation highlights the calibre of training provided by our world-class instructors.

This prestige certificate is testament to the team’s hard work and reassures our clients that they are receiving world-class training at the training academy. 

Are there any future plans or ambitions of note for Newcastle International Training Academy?

We are currently looking to expand our training facilities to accommodate more participants and additional courses in the near future.

We are always looking for ways to enhance the services and training we provide and regularly test and trial the latest technologies available in the industry. It is positive to see technology improving the training tools available for specialised facilities like the Newcastle International Training Academy and it will be interesting to see how such technologies could enhance the training services that we deliver in the future.

This article was originally published in the January edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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