Yellow helmets – a sign of success! | 338 (August 2017)

Professional training is the key to hiring locally at Iraq’s West Qurna-2

2017-09-16 20:25 Views 877

Professional training is the key to hiring locally at Iraq’s West Qurna-2

Professional training is the key to hiring locally at Iraq’s West Qurna-2

Ilya Boyko, West Qurna-2

Hiring local – or replacing international specialists with native cadres – has long been the mantra at the West Qurna-2 oilfield in Southern Iraq. Today over 70% of the project’s personnel are Iraqi citizens thanks to this ongoing and dynamic process. LUKOIL, as West Qurna-2’s operator, is focused on making the process as efficient as possible and thereby guaranteeing a high level of professionalism among the Iraqi specialists joining the team to replace expats.

Nowhere is this more important than among the project’s emergency and rescue services. Founded in 2011, the local team originally consisted of 16 members (10 of them Iraqis) equipped with two fire trucks. At that point not a single Iraqi on the team had had experience working as a firefighter; hence training began from a clean slate.

As West Qurna-2 expanded, so did its emergency and rescue services. Today the team enjoys access to 10 modern firefighting and rescue technical units and a plethora of special equipment.

They are based in two fire stations and utilize a training ground where firefighters and rescuers hone their skills regularly.

The team has also grown – to 56 members (42 of them Iraqis). Almost all local specialists completed internationally certified professional training at LUKOIL’s corporate center in Astrakhan, Russia. A further 11 team members will pass through courses at the center before the end of the month.

Their training is not limited to the center in Russia: last year the top 5 firefighters and rescuers passed a special course at a training center in Qatar and were subsequently appointed deputy commanders of their respective brigades. In July 2017 another seven young Iraqis earned a similar promotion. As a result, today all 12 deputy commander positions among the firefighting and rescue teams are staffed by Iraqis who have worked there practically since their founding and are more than ready for further advancement in their careers. Each of them has proven his professionalism in his new position during daily shifts, trainings, competitions, tests and a special intense course organized by the service.

In accordance with international standards and the traditions of the service, each firefighter wears a helmet that’s colored depending on his rank. Ordinary staff wear red, while deputy commanders wear yellow helmets.


1. Al Kabi Hassan Fadhil Hassan

2. Al Rashid Abdullah Sultan Hamza

3. Al Ameri Mustafa Abdulkadhim Ali

4. Al Battat Kareem Mohammed Falih

5. Al Sameri Ibrahim Fadhil Dhahir

6. Al Khafaji Jawad Kadhim Abdalrasool

7. Al Farhany Yassin Kadim Yassin

Keep it up, guys!

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