IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference 2024: Senior leaders connect in Dubai

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IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference 2024 in review

On Thursday, 9 May 2024, the IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference, held in association with Reacton Fire Suppression, welcomed senior key professionals to the Grosvenor House Hotel, Dubai Marina, UAE

The event commenced with an engaging networking session in the Windsor Ballroom of this prestigious waterfront venue. Following the networking, the conference officially began at 9 AM with the attendees—including delegates, partners, and sponsors—being welcomed by Ian Stokes, CEO of Centurian Media, and Terry Johnson, the Conference Chair and Director of Emergency Services at Jasara, NEOM, The Line.

In his opening address, Terry Johnson extended his appreciation to the Advisory Panel, consisting of esteemed leaders from regional authorities and top companies, emphasizing their crucial role in curating a focused and impactful agenda. He highlighted the panel’s contributions as vital for enhancing safety standards and fostering significant industry partnerships.

The highlight of the morning was a keynote address by Colonel Expert Abdul Rahman Abdul Nour Beshalat, Director of Smart Systems at Dubai Civil Defense. His presence and insights not only underscored the conference’s importance but also enriched the dialogue on regional fire and safety challenges, emphasizing the role of smart technology in advancing fire safety measures.

A diverse and engaging agenda

The IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference began with a detailed exploration of critical lessons and actionable steps derived from past fire incidents. Sawsan Dahham, CEO of Siena, provided insights into enhancing safety protocols, underscoring the importance of learned experiences in fire safety management.

This was followed by a panel discussion on Fire Safety Management, moderated by Bob Rea, Director and Lead Facilitator at BR Training Solutions Ltd. The panel included experts like Phil Witts, COO of ATEIS, and Peter Stephenson, Director of Fire Safety Division at Hydrock, who delved into strategies for maintaining safety in occupied spaces.

Edward Barnes, CTO of Reacton Fire Suppression, then delivered a critical Platinum Presentation on vehicle fire safety in the UAE. His talk highlighted advanced safety measures and emerging technologies shaping fire safety protocols for vehicles.

Further advancing the discussion on technological impacts, a panel moderated by Alexander Castellanos, Head of Fire and Life Safety at AtkinsRealis, examined the latest developments in fire protection. The panel featured industry leaders such as Edward Barnes and Jason Mather, Branch Manager at Haven Fire and Safety LLC, discussing innovations in both passive and active fire protection.

The day also included a significant discussion on mental health and suicide in the fire service sector, led by Duncan J. White, Managing Editor at International Fire and Safety Journal. Experts like Sam Malins, CEO at Reacton Fire Suppression, and Mark Buckingham from Abu Dhabi Airports shared their perspectives on the challenges and support mechanisms needed within the industry.

Dr. Andrew Jeremijenko, Medical Advisor to the Abu Dhabi Government, presented on the health risks associated with PFAS exposure, offering strategies for mitigation and enhancing public health safety.

A keynote address by Steve Hamm, CEO of the Institution of Fire Engineers, outlined strategic approaches for advancing fire safety through leadership and innovation, emphasizing the critical role of effective leadership in shaping fire safety practices.

A panel on equality in engineering, led by Sawsan Dahham, included notable figures like Hayley Burgess, International President at Institution of Fire Engineers. The discussion centered on the importance of competence over diversity in recruitment practices, aiming to enhance inclusivity and innovation within the engineering sector.

Daniel Wysokinski, Principal Testing Engineer at Emirates Safety Laboratory, discussed emerging technologies related to battery safety, highlighting the dangers and necessary precautions for handling thermal runaway scenarios.

The conference concluded with closing remarks from Terry Johnson, the Conference Chair, who reflected on the day’s discussions and the profound insights gained, underscoring the event’s success in advancing fire and safety knowledge and practices.

Videos and other highlights from the IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference 2024 will be published on IFSJ’s social media channels in the coming weeks.

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