HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani officially inaugurated the Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College (RLESC) at Ras Laffan Industrial City.

The opening ceremony was attended by their Excellencies Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada the Minister of Energy and Industry; Mohamed Al Hammadi, the Minister of Education and Higher Education; and Jassim Al Sulaiti, the Minister of Transport. Also in attendance were senior officials from the Ministry of Interior, Civil Defence, and Qatar Petroleum (QP), as well as foreign guests and a number of oil and gas industry leaders and safety professionals.

RLESC – a result of a partnership and collaboration between QP and the Ministry of Interior – is a premier emergency and safety training college designed to provide advanced training to professionals in the oil, gas, petrochemical, civil defence, civil and military aviation, and other sectors in Qatar as well as the greater Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

The College is spread over a total of 1,000,000 meters and equipped with modern classrooms, range of simulators and indoor and outdoor facilities.

RLESC will initially offer training and courses in fire emergency and safety, industrial fire fighting, search and rescue, hazardous materials, emergency medical services, and civil defence and aviation, while additional courses in health, safety and environment, public safety, and business community will further enrich its subject list at a later stage.

The astonishing array of props at RLESC features some of the most advanced equipment at teaching facilities of this kind anywhere in the world. Industrial props have been procured specifically for the on- and off-shore oil and gas industry, while those for civil defence training feature a high-rise building, a commercial building, a villa, a cinema, a shopping centre, a warehouse and forensics investigation structures. The props for search and rescue training boast a confined space as well as a ‘collapsed’ building.

Applicants can enrol in single training courses in specific field of study where the duration varies from three days to 12 weeks.

The training partner and provider of Emergency Training at RLESC is Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), which is internationally acclaimed in the area of advanced practical emergency and safety training. Further, almost all of the RLESC Emergency Training courses are accredited by the National Board on fire Service Professional Qualifications ‘ProBoard’, of the US.

Currently, RLESC has begun a joint field-research in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which is being supervised by Texas A&M University at Qatar by with support from British Petroleum.

Meanwhile, QP announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the University of New Haven, Connecticut, US for offering diplomas and a 4-year degree in the fire safety management and fire protection engineering. A study plan is expected to be signed in the second quarter of 2014 and the academic studies  to start by September 2014.

University of New Haven (UNH) is a private institution that was founded in 1920; the university offers about 80 undergraduate majors and 30 masters programmes. UNH is renowned for providing its students with highly recognised degrees in fire science and emergency management.