Offshore fire training helps Eric secure high flying role

Becoming an offshore firefighter helped Eric West scoop his dream job on a wind farm in the North Sea.

Eric, aged 53, from North Shields was working as a rigger in the offshore oil and gas sector but was keen to transfer to the fast-growing wind sector. When a job came up installing a wind farm in Bard Field in the German section of the North Sea, Eric was determined to apply.

With no previous experience of the wind industry, Eric knew he had to do something to make his CV stand out.  He undertook a 5-day Offshore Emergency Response Team Member (OERTM) training course at AIS’s state-of-the-art firefighting training centre in Newcastle to add emergency firefighting to his skill-set. The qualification helped Eric secure his first job in the offshore wind industry.

He said: “There’s always substantial competition for offshore jobs but one of the key competencies that can make you stand out is emergency response. When you’re miles offshore in the middle of the North Sea you can’t just dial 999 if the worst happens. Employers need to know their crews can cope in any emergency so if you have skills such as offshore firefighting or medical first aid, it could be the difference between getting a job or not.

“Getting the offshore firefighting qualification with AIS definitely helped me start my wind career. I was the only one on my rotation with emergency response skills. As well as making me an invaluable member of the team, it’s also put my name top of the list for any new potential contracts.”