independent

Friday 20 July 2018

WIT introduces new fire safety qualification course

Paul L’Estrange, Chief Fire Officer, Wexford, Minister John Paul Phelan, and Dr Derek Sinnott, Head of WIT’s Department of the Built Environment
Paul L’Estrange, Chief Fire Officer, Wexford, Minister John Paul Phelan, and Dr Derek Sinnott, Head of WIT’s Department of the Built Environment

Brendan Keane

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has introduced a new engineering course which will give participants a specialist qualification in the area of fire safety in buildings.

The Bachelor of Engineering in Fire Engineering course is available on a flexible, part-time basis and has been developed by the Institute with input from the Wexford County Chief Fire Officer, Paul L'Estrange.

The course was launched last week and is aimed at professionals who wish to up-skill and develop competencies in fire safety. It will be delivered over a 12-month period on Friday evenings and Saturdays.

Glenmore based politician and former student of Good Counsel College, New Ross, John Paul Phelan TD, officially launched the new programme through his role as Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

He said modern regulations, in addition to building techniques, have improved general safety in buildings, however, he added there is still room for more improvement.

'This course will not only serve to educate those who have responsibility for designing, building, or refurbishing our living and working environments going forward, but also those who serve as the fail-safe; those who ensure initial and on-going fire safety of our buildings and those who endeavour to protect us should the worst happen,' he said.

The course was developed by Dr Derek Sinnott, who is the Head of WIT's Department of the Built Environment.

He said there is growing awareness of fire safety in design and understanding of the need for design competence in fire protection.

Dr Sinnott also said the introduction of the Building Control Amendment Regulations (BCAR) 2014 has had a very significant effect on the way building design and construction is managed and certified.

'Grenfell Tower, Priory Hall and Millfield Manor are all names that we know of because recent issues and media coverage,' he said.

Mr L'Estrange also attended the launch and said the qualification will be of benefit to local authority staff who want to progress from Fire-Fighter and Fire Officer through to senior ranks.

'This industry-led course will equip them with specialist knowledge of fire in all its forms, enabling them to respond professionally,' said Mr L'Estrange.

New Ross Standard

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