Firefighters and police officers participated in a practical fire investigation training programme with a special emphasis on arson with British experts which took place for the first time in Cyprus.
The training was completed between October 26 and November 17 with a team of three international instructors who taught four groups of 12, fire service and police fire scene investigators at the specially designed fire service Emak facility in Kofinou.
The programme involved theoretical and practical exercises, including those investigating the origins and causes of fires in furnished fire-damaged buildings.
“The series of inter-agency exercises have been designed to promote the ‘Team Approach’, foster harmonious, safe and systematic working practices and enable the attendees to put theory into practice,” said the business development director and co-founder of Gardiner Associates Training & Research (GATR), Mick Gardiner.
Since 2004, theory and practical training sessions have taken place in the UK, while in 2014 to 2015, GATR instructors delivered inter-agency theory courses in Nicosia, but this was the first time a practical session took place in Cyprus.
Gardiner said that his fire investigation training consultancy has developed a positive professional working relationship with the Cyprus fire service, police and representatives of the insurance industry for over the last three decades.
Cyprus did not appear to have a significant arson problem over 30 years ago, something that has changed in recent years, Gardiner said.
“Since then several fire/crime related problems have manifested. These include arson, murder, wildfires, vehicle, and structural fires plus, accidental fires caused by cheap, fake imported electrical goods of dubious manufacture e.g., mobile phone and other electrically powered chargers etc,” he explained.
The trainings offer “valuable lessons which can be dovetailed into fire prevention initiatives and arson reduction strategies safeguarding the people of Cyprus,” Gardiner added.
Launched in 1996, Gardiner Associates Training and Research (GATR) is Europe’s largest provider of inter-agency fire investigation training to police and fire authorities.