As part of International Fellowship Program, international firefighters are placed in leading U.S. fire departments for six months to learn best practices and internalize the U.S. fire service culture. Embedding international fire protection department (FrPD) firefighters in a U.S. department tests their ability to adapt while testing their skills in a high-call volume environment.
The inaugural version of this IAFC program is sponsored by the Saudi Aramco Oil Company who sent 40 members of their fire protection department to the U.S. in 2016-2017. To date, IAFC host department partners are:
- San Diego Fire and Rescue Department
- Oklahoma City Fire Department
- Rogers (AR) Fire Department
- Prince George’s County (MD) Fire/EMS
- DeKalb County (GA) Fire Rescue
- Miami-Dade Fire Rescue
Objectives for Fellows
- Strengthen their core competencies through exposure to high-call volume operational environments
- Develop their knowledge, skills and abilities according to industry best-practices
- Adopt the leadership principles of mission-driven cultures
- Understand the culture and values of the U.S. fire and emergency service
Key Take Aways
The biggest benefit to participating host departments is to provide cultural exposure for their personnel. Host department have an opportunity to network and train with like-minded, progressive fire departments and be at the forefront of future international partnerships.
For the IAFC, this program is a launch pad to becoming a global forum for the exchange of fire service best practices and leadership principles. For Saudi Aramco, this is an opportunity to test their officers and groom their future leaders to face the challenges of modernizing the Saudi Arabian economy and society.