Brief history of the Sri Lanka branch of the institution of fire engineers UK


The Sri Lanka Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers UK was inaugurated on the 29th October 1988 by the General Secretary of the IFE Mrs. C.E. Mackwood at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Civil Security, Colombo 2. Prior to this date many attempts were made to establish a Branch of the IFE in Sri Lanka, but it did not finalized because of the lack of the minimum number of Corporate Members stipulated by the IFE for the establishment of a “Branch.”

The spade work for the establishment of the Sri Lanka Branch was done by Mr. M.E.L. Fernando the Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Security and Mr. P.A. Gribbin the CFO of the Surrey Fire Brigade UK. They convened a meeting on the 14th. July 1987, of 29 Gentlemen involved in the discipline of Fire Engineering, who elected a Working Committee, which was tasked with drawing up the Constitution and applying to the Parent Body for recognition as a “Branch” of the IFE. The Institution of Fire Engineers UK by their letter CEM/JS dated 17th. March 1988 approved the Constitution and the establishment of the Sri Lanka Branch of the IFE with effect from 9th March 1988. Thus a small band of 29 Gentlemen dedicated to the cause of Fire Safety in our Country by their hard work established the Sri Lanka Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers UK.

The Sri Lanka Branch is still the youngest of the Engineering institutions in Sri Lanka, but we have made good progress since then. The following are some of the notable events in our short history:

  • The Branch organized three National Fire Seminars in the years 1993, 1995, and 2000.
  • The Branch was well represented in the ICTAD Committees that promulgated the Fire Regulations for Sri Lanka in 1997, and updated these regulations in 2006. The “editor” and the “resource person” was a Member of the Branch.
  • The current Chief Fire Officer of the CMC Fire Brigade and his predecessor are “Fellows” of the Branch.
  • In 2006 the Branch organized inter-Fire Services Sports competitions.
  • Two of the Branch Members have been awarded “Commonwealth Fire Engineering” scholarships.
  • Promotions Schemes in all the Municipal Fire Brigades are based on IFE qualifications.
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