In a collaborative effort, LION has partnered with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to celebrate the graduation of Saudi Aramco Cohort 24, a significant event in the IAFC’s International Fellowship Program (IFP).
The ceremony took place on January 10, 2024, in Columbus, GA.
The IFP is designed to immerse international firefighters in US fire departments for an intensive six-month period.
The program’s goal is to exchange best practices and assimilate US fire service culture.
Sponsored by Saudi Aramco, a prominent national petroleum and natural gas company from Saudi Arabia, the program annually sends about 32 members of its Fire Protection Department to the US in four cohorts.
Each cohort consists of eight firefighters selected by the Saudi Aramco Professional Training Placement Program.
They are sent to the US with J-1 Visas, enabling participation in work-and-study-based exchange programs.
These trainees, chosen for their exceptional performance, engage with US fire departments, fostering cultural exchange and professional development.
LION collaborates with host departments and the IAFC to provide advanced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the participating firefighters.
This partnership ensures trainee safety and enhances the capabilities of host departments, demonstrating LION’s commitment to firefighter safety and support for international fire safety partnerships.
The program extends beyond firefighting duties, promising to establish lasting relationships that transcend national boundaries.
Host departments gain from diverse perspectives, contributing to their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
The IFP promotes future international partnerships and a global community focused on fire safety practices.
Mark Smith, President of LION Americas, stated: “LION is honored to be a part of the Saudi Aramco Cohort 24 Graduation and to support the IAFC International Fellowship Program in fostering international collaboration and cultural exchange within the firefighting community.
“We believe in the power of such programs to strengthen the global firefighting community and enhance the safety and effectiveness of firefighting personnel worldwide.”
The graduation ceremony symbolizes the successful completion of a transformative program and the power of international collaboration in firefighting.
LION and the IAFC are committed to fostering a global network of firefighters dedicated to the highest safety and professionalism standards.
The IAFC proudly acknowledges this milestone from Lion Protects, marking a new chapter in their long-standing partnership.
The IFP, initiated in 2016, has involved 14 Fire Departments in providing a host environment for the fellowship.
The Saudi Aramco firefighters work alongside their American counterparts, learning, participating, and sharing skills.
The program is now an essential part of the promotional process within the Saudi Aramco Fire Protection Department.
John Morris, Program Manager for the International Fellowship program, noted: “This program is making a difference every day within the Saudi Aramco Fire Protection Department and continues to be one of the premier programs Saudi Aramco does.”
The IAFC extends its gratitude to Lion for their IFP support and looks forward to future collaborations supporting international fire service cooperation.
The partnership between LION and the IAFC for the International Fellowship Program highlights the importance of international collaboration in enhancing firefighting techniques and cultural understanding.
The success of the program in integrating Saudi Aramco firefighters into US fire departments enriches their professional experience and reinforces global safety standards.
The involvement of companies like LION in providing essential PPE demonstrates the synergistic potential of corporate and organizational partnerships in advancing public safety and professional development.
This collaboration serves as a model for future international initiatives, aiming to build a more interconnected and skilled global firefighting community.