FIRST responders to aircraft accident sites have been trained by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to know and understand their roles in case of an accident, to help them identify and appreciate the need for protection and preservation of evidences to aircraft accident investigation
The training drew at least, 400 security personnel from Nigeria Police and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), trained simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja by top officials of the bureau and its partners from the United Kingdom.
According to the Bureau, the two-day workshop which commenced on Monday in Lagos and ended yesterday had as theme: ‘Air Disaster Management’ and was put together in a bid to prevent tampering with evidences that would aid successful accident investigation findings.
About 200 FRSC and police officials were trained in Lagos alone, while the other 200 would be trained in Abuja next week.
Mr. Olumide Osineye, the General Manager, Security and Safety, AIB, who was one of the instructors at the workshop, said that the training of the security personnel would create awareness across the country on the importance of securing crash sites.
Osineye in an interview with our correspondent said that the training would enable the trained security agencies’ personnel to understand their roles in the event of an accident, stressing that they would also be able to identify and appreciate the need for protection and preservation of evidences to aircraft accident investigation.
He added: “You can imagine a police officer who is not aware of critical evidences like flight recorder. A police officer on site who has never seen flight recorder before and may be a flight recorder is being taken away ignorantly by unknown person. This is very critical to investigation.
“In order to help and support AIB investigation, we hold it a duty to ensure that such category of trained personnel or organisations are aware of such critical component. These people are necessary for their education and awareness of their job.”
Osineye explained that it was not the first time AIB would be organising such a workshop for security personnel, recalling that the bureau recently organised training for some police officers in the country.
“Now, we are going beyond that to include the road safety officials because we know the FRSC too plays a role when accident occurs. These are field people. The education is important for us to do our job better. These people will have been on site before we get there. So, it is important for us to make them aware of this. We need to appreciate them in helping us to do our investigation,” he said.
He also lauded Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner of AIB for ensuring that security personnel in the country were trained on air accident disaster management, stressing that this would go a long way in improving the performance of the bureau.
He maintained that the feedbacks received from the previous trainings were encouraging, assuring that this would also add to the knowledge of the personnel.
Apart from Lagos and Abuja, he emphasised that the training would extend to other airports and stations across the country, noting that the importance of AIB in enhancing safety in the country’s airspace could not be over-emphasised.
He said: “The impact of AIB is great. First and foremost, all stakeholders are working towards the same goal. We are making a big leap to ensure that our safety investigation findings go a long way.
“What we do is that we ensure that the kind of accident we investigated for instance, does not recur again. However, the aim of AIB safety recommendations or investigations is not to apportion blame or obtain liability, but specifically for safety.”