Part of historical progress
Abeer Aljabr didn’t set out to be part of an historic event. But she and her colleague, Jazyah Al-Dossary, became Saudi Arabia’s first women to receive NFPA certification in firefighting. Abeer joined Aramco to work as an engineer in the Company’s Fire Protection Department, undergoing rigorous physical training, and passing medical and skill tests. She learnt fire suppression techniques, fire and smoke behavior, vehicle extrication, rescue techniques, and more. Being able to train and work with frontline firefighters let her tap into their experience and knowledge.
As Abeer explains, “people tend to think of firefighters in terms of putting out a blaze — and it’s true that the work requires a combination of physical ability, technique, and situational awareness. But there’s actually a deep core of science, technology, engineering, and math required to the job. To understand how fires behave, it is necessary to understand the science of it.” Abeer says she uses physics every day — even extinguishing a fire is a matter of interrupting a chemical chain reaction.
“I feel proud to be a part of the Kingdom’s historic progress and to receive NFPA firefighting certification. Once a development like this is set in motion, there will be growth in the number of women joining previously ‘male dominated’ professions. Diversity is important to bring the full complement of differing skill sets, talent, and perspectives to the table.”