Students have been swapping their lecture theatres in Preston for the sands for the Middle East as part of their studies.
Fire engineering and leadership students from the University of Central Lancashire have been learning how to tackle aeroplane fires and full scale chemical spills during a trip to Oman.
The students’ Middle Eastern visit to the International College of Engineering and Management (ICEM), UCLan’s partner college, gave them a chance to learn and experience first-hand how Omani fire fighters are trained to deal with serious fire incidents in tankers, chemical process plants and in the aviation industry.
UCLan has been a partner of ICEM for more than 15 years but this was the first time students on its fire engineering and fire and leadership courses have visited to gain such intense practical experience.
Second year fire engineering student Karina Sokolova, who was on the trip, said: “ICEM specialises in aviation firefighting training and provides the facilities for professional firefighters’ regular certificate updates.
She said: “We were shown work on the field just like if it happened in real life. I was very impressed with how determined these people were.”
In addition, the six UCLan students who visited Oman with senior fire safety engineering lecturer Shephard Ndlovu, attended Oman’s National Conference on the Latest Health, Safety and Environmental Practices and visited Petroleum Development Oman .
There they learned about fire safety in the oil and gas industries.
Fellow fire engineering student Oliver Brooke said: “During my time in Oman I learned a great deal; from fire safety practices, through to our time spent in lectures and on-site visits and learning new firefighting techniques as displayed to us on the College’s training grounds.
“I feel privileged to have been made so welcome by such generous people and would happily return.”
Shephard Ndlovu said: “This was a very exciting opportunity for the UCLan fire students.
“It provided them with invaluable global and practical experience and will lead to further exchanges in the future.”
Shephard added: “Hopefully we can welcome ICEM students to Preston where they can take part in a number of activity workshops including testing out UCLan’s Hydra/Minerva disaster management simulator.”