As a fire engineer I have been lucky enough to be part of developing skylines throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
I have always loved fire engineering – fascinated by all its nuances from the logical to the creative and the technical to the psychological. I’ve been involved in projects across the world, from bases both in London and Dubai, and have been lucky enough to work with brilliant engineers and innovative architects who have pushed the boundaries of creativity to really challenge the limits of engineering. Hotels in Azerbaijan, a hospital in Bermuda and super highrises in Mumbai, from historic Westminster Palace and Gatwick Airport to the epic Dubai EXPO 2020 Sustainability Pavilion, a diverse range of exciting buildings adding a lot of variety to my career.
But recently the call of travel has been too great to resist. Creating FireTreks is allowing me to travel to meet the people, the teams and the communities tackling the issue of fire safety and learn more from the unfamiliar conditions.
I’ve had some of my happiest moments biking across Vietnam learning how things are made, meeting people and truly roaming off the beaten track and I’m excited to integrate my career with my passion for travel. So here I am, combining my thirst for knowledge with my inability to sit still. I’ll be packing up my life in Dubai to see what I can learn, what stories I can uncover and I cannot wait to find out where this journey will take me!
I will begin in South America, a continent I know very little about but which covers an incredible spectrum of environments. Rainforests, deserts, volcanoes, ice fields, salt flats, mountains, remote islands and condensed townships – FireTreks aims to investigate how fire safety is managed in such varied environments. Starting in Colombia, I will move south through to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and beyond to meet a varied range of people with a connection to fire safety. The route will depend on where the stories take me!
So how can you help…….?
The following list of both specific and general topics is by no means exhaustive and I have no wish to restrict it in any way. It will inevitably evolve over time throughout the journey.
- What are the environmental impacts of fire safety?
- Crisis response in volcanic/earthquake prone regions
- Challenges faced in the Amazon, and other remote locations
- How are climate change and deforestation affecting the way fires are tackled?
- Fire safety in sub-zero conditions (crossing into the Antarctic)
- How are new technologies and scientific analysis being used?
- Climate correlation – how are weather patterns predicting fires in the Amazon rainforest?
- How is fire spread predicted through the rainforest?
- MAFFS aircrafts – how fires are tackled from the air?
- Research and Development and knowledge sharing
- What are the social and economic implications for Fire safety?
- The history of fire fighting in various locations
- Favela/township fire safety
- Community outreach and training
- Equipment donation – how other countries are supporting South America
- An analysis of previous fires in the regions and lessons learnt
- Fire regulations and enforcement
- What are the individual and personal stories?
- The life of a volunteer fire fighter
- Women in fire
I hope to share what I discover with anyone interested and would love to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions of where to go next or who to meet. Either comment below or send me a private message by first clicking ‘Contact’ on the header bar.
The idea has been sparked – let’s stoke the fire.