IRAQI FIRE CHIEFS MEET IN BAGHDAD TO CHART FUTURE COURSE
Baghdad, Iraq…May 15, 2004 – More than 70 Iraqi fire chiefs from throughout the country are gathering this weekend in the capital city of Baghdad for the first-ever National Leaders Forum.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Interior’s Civil Defense Directorate, the national level agency which provides fire and emergency services, have come together to formulate strategic goals and future plans for the directorate, form a national fire leadership team, identify and discuss areas of concern, and learn about national-level initiatives.
In addition the fire chiefs will meet with Iraq’s Interior Minister Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie, Civil Defense Director General Dr. Ali Sadoon and CPA officials assisting with the training and equipping of firefighters nationwide.
“We have a staff of people who have worked very hard for the past year with
just one goal in mind: to leave for the Iraqi people a fire service that is
capable of providing safety for all Iraqis,” said Steve Casteel, CPA’s Senior
Advisor to the Ministry of Interior.
Over the next 30 months, 4000 new firefighters will be hired, trained and will join the approximately 8000 strong firefighter workforce. Renovation on the Civil Defense Directorate headquarters and the training academy at which the training of firefighters is to begin soon.
“This is the beginning of a new era for Iraq’s Civil Defense Directorate,” said Interior Minister Sumaida’ie. “I pledge to make the fire service a key component in the Ministry of Interior’s provision of safety and security for the people of Iraq. This conference is a great start.”
Under the former regime, the fire service was largely ignored. Firefighters
received little or no training. Saddam-era firefighters merely contained fires,
as they were not trained to rescue persons trapped inside burning buildings.
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