LION & IAFC Unite for Saudi Aramco Cohort 24 International Fellowship Program

Jan. 11, 2024
The International Fellowship Program is designed to immerse international firefighters in leading U.S. fire departments for an intensive six-month experience.

COLUMBUS, Georgia (January 10, 2024) – In a proud collaboration, LION has joined forces with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) for the momentous graduation ceremony of Saudi Aramco Cohort 24. This event marks a crucial milestone in the IAFC's International Fellowship Program and is set to unfold on January 10, 2024 in Columbus, GA. 

The International Fellowship Program is designed to immerse international firefighters in leading US fire departments for an intensive six-month experience. The program aims to foster the exchange of best practices and the assimilation of the US fire service culture. Sponsored by Saudi Aramco Oil Company, a distinguished Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran, the program sends approximately 32 members of its Fire Protection Department to the US annually, divided into four cohorts.

The Saudi Aramco Professional Training Placement Program meticulously selects eight firefighters per cohort, sending them to the US with J-1 Visas. These visas, falling under the exchange visitor non-immigrant category, facilitate participation in work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs. Nominated based on their exceptional performance, these trainees engage with the host US fire departments, fostering cultural exchange and professional development.

LION plays a pivotal role in this program by collaborating closely with host departments and the IAFC to provide state-of-the-art PPE for the participating firefighters. This partnership not only ensures the safety of the international trainees but also leaves a lasting asset for the host departments, augmenting their capabilities long after the conclusion of the cohort. This collaboration underscores LION's unwavering commitment to firefighter safety and its dedication to supporting international partnerships in the realm of fire safety.

Beyond the primary focus on firefighting responsibilities, the IFP promises to establish enduring relationships that transcend borders. Host department personnel benefit from exposure to diverse perspectives, contributing to the testing of their department's diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. The program goes beyond professional development by providing cultural exposure and networking opportunities, allowing host department personnel to collaborate with like-minded progressive fire departments. This paves the way for future international partnerships and promotes a global community focused on enhancing fire safety practices. 

"LION is honored to be a part of the Saudi Aramco Cohort 24 Graduation and to support the IAFC International Fellowship Program in fostering international collaboration and cultural exchange within the firefighting community," said Mark Smith, President of LION Americas. "We believe in the power of such programs to strengthen the global firefighting community and enhance the safety and effectiveness of firefighting personnel worldwide." 

The graduation ceremony of this Saudi Aramco Cohort is not just a celebration of the successful completion of a transformative program, but a testament to the power of international collaboration in the realm of firefighting. LION and the IAFC stand united in their commitment to fostering a global network of firefighters dedicated to the highest standards of safety, professionalism and camaraderie. 




About LION

Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, LION is a family-owned company with a legacy and ongoing vision of introducing new products and services designed to ensure the health, safety, and performance of first responders worldwide. From game-changing personal protective equipment (PPE) and professional gear maintenance to state-of-the-art fire safety training tools and facilities, it is LION’s mission to make sure that you’re READY FOR ACTION — before, during and after. To learn more, visit


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