IFSJ Influencer: Terry Johnson, Technical Services Manager, Emirates National Oil Company

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Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) Technical Services Manager, Group HSE Department, Terry Johnson, shares his views and predictions for the fire and safety industry for the year ahead

As we head to the last quarter of 2022, we ask ourselves, ‘is the fire industry in a good place?’ and ‘what can we expect in 2023?’ My perspective is that there have been many difficult and far-reaching challenges in recent years resulting in lower levels of confidence due to many reports of large tragic fires and often cases where fire safety was compromised. However, I continue to be confident that the fire Industry remains resilient, passionate, and robust enough to tackle any challenges or threats.

We must, however, re-establish virtuous confidences with a regenerated dynamic approach and look inwardly to the fire expertise within the fire industry. There should be a search for broader solution-based technologies and a platform of cross-border shared learning from past experiences and post incident reports.

The Fire Industry Globally is a relatively small family with the ability to communicate freely and distinctively. Hence, we all have something to contribute collectively, some regions and fire authorities more than others as has been their rapid learning due to economic growth and development.

Typically, the United Arab Emirates and particularly Dubai is an example of amazing growth with many challenging solutions required to satisfy fire and life safety, which is a very important issue for potential developers and confidence of its residents regarding growth and market stability.

In order to tackle these issues locally, it was decided to develop a UAE fire and life safety code of practice. True, this was not a million miles away from other established codes initially, but as a start this proved to be extremely successful and to take ownership was in itself a boost to confidence within the fire and safety sector.

This then brought the fire sector together, with many inputs from the resident sector expertise resulting in evolved versions of the codes that have been subsequently published, the latest being 2022. This now reflects a great deal of practical incident learning which is inclusive and understandable by all, flexible to reflect market demands, and robust to withstand testing and target the challenging issues. The most important element is the confirmation and assurance that things are progressing and any influences are fact checked and reported back into the fire safety sector.

Going forward into 2023 I feel that it is vital to evaluate comprehensively all the learning we can gather from all sources involved within the fire sector. Importantly, we must share the inputs and jointly propose solutions from tested and certified materials. Regarding construction we have to understand fire behaviour patterns and develop engineered design concepts for advanced fire and life safety systems.

We must look at technological advances with assured certified guarantees, carefully selecting those that positively influence integrity. We must also share tactics and rehearsed operational solutions with best options for equipment and tools. These will all influence the success and rise to the challenge, secure confidence and stability, and ensure the successful growth and well-being of the fire industry.

About the influencer

Terry Johnson’s career began in the UKFRS and progressed to international development with the United Nations Development Program (UNIDO) as an ‘Technical Assistant Expert’ Fire Safety Training in the Oil & Gas sector. Johnson represented Dubai Civil Defense on various Emergency Crisis committees and working groups as a Senior Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services Professional, disciplined for All Operational requirements, including Major Emergency Incident planning and crisis liaison.

Now, Johnson is currently engaged by Emirates National Oil Company ENOC, looking at sustainable and environmental solutions to match the resilience needed for asset and response team protection for ENOC assets.  

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

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