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Kuwait Fire Services Directorate marks Firefighters’ Day Kuwait strong, willing partner for international cooperation: Dr Kuvshinov

KUWAIT CITY, March 6: The Kuwait Fire Services Directorate celebrated the 12th annual ‘Firefighters’ Day’ by inaugurating a 3-day exhibition at Souq Sharq Thursday. The event was attended by Kuwait’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed Al Abdullah Al Mubarak Al Sabah, Secretary General of the International Civil Defense Organization (ICDO), Dr Vladimir Kuvshinov, Director General of Kuwait Fire Service Department, Yousef Al Ansari and other dignitaries.

The Firefighters Day in Kuwait is observed in the first week of March coinciding with the International Civil Defense Day. The event follows close on the heels of the just-concluded 3rd International Conference and Exhibition on Firefighting held in Kuwait. Speaking at the ceremony Dr Kuvshinov praised Kuwait Fire Service for its modern equipment and technologies, and the professional skills of its personnel. The ICDO secretary general noted that Kuwait has set an example for other countries in its preparedness to protect its people from natural and man-made disasters.

Dr Kuvshinov touched upon the rise in disasters across the world, which have almost become a daily occurrence claiming thousands of victims, and affecting millions. He blamed global warming arising out of rapid industrialization and technological advancements for the natural disasters. Disasters caused by global warming, he added, are one of the major challenges of the civil defense services all over the world. In his capacity as ICDO secretary general, Dr Kuvshinov appealed to all the countries in the world to strengthen civil defense organizations, mainly through the modernization of equipment and adopting latest technologies to combat disasters.

The growing importance of civil defense, fire and emergency services is reflected in their becoming the main component of national security in most countries, he added. Recognizing the great potential and resources at Kuwait’s disposal in this field, Dr Kuvshinov said developed economies like Kuwait must assist the national civil defense and fire services of less developed countries. Further, he added that Kuwait is a strong and willing partner for international cooperation. Kuwait has undertaken the necessary steps to become part of the ICDO, Dr Kuvshinov noted.

The conference tackled the subjects of high rise buildings and challenging environment in addition to crises management systems and hazardous material, and threat management and specialist response. Further, in an aside to the Arab Times, Dr Kuvshinov, said the ICDO is one of the oldest inter-government organizations in the world, and has 53 member countries. The ICDO has always been at the forefront to warn and prepare for disasters. The organization works closely with other government and international organizations to achieve its goals. Every year March 1st is observed as the World Civil Defense Day.

It was established by ICDO with the aim of making the world a safer place for the people to live. Talking about some of the important activities of ICDO, Dr Kuvshinov said the organization trains and prepares civil defense personnel across the world. He stressed the cooperation of civil societies is very important in this process. Last year, the ICDO had made joint international statements such as the Gabala Declaration at the 13th International Conference on Civil Defense in Azerbaijan, and the Doha Declaration at the 4th International Conference and Exhibition in Qatar among others. On the subject of natural disasters due to global warming, Dr Kuvshinov said the countries must ensure the protection of population, properties and the environment by creating awareness and implementing preventive measures. “Exchange of information, good planning and the involvement of scientific institutions are necessary to tackle these disasters,” he added underlining the need for cooperation between a wide-range of partners. Prevention must focus on areas such as risk assessment through the adoption and development of national and regional mechanisms and tools.

Preparedness of civil protection, civil defense and emergency services through specialized training is also crucial, he added. The ICDO is the only international organization that unifies structures of civil protection, civil defense and emergency services across the world, and seeks to bring them all together to facilitate exchange of information for capacity building. The 3-day exhibition at Souq Sharq features a photo gallery to highlight the various life-risking tasks undertaken by firefighters.

Latest firefighting equipment were also on display. Kuwait’s firefighting team also held demonstrations of sea and land rescues using helicopters for the guests at the Souq. The next two days will see a lot of information dissemination to the visitors on safety and precautions and other aspects of disaster management to create awareness. Spot quizzes will be conducted to give away more than 250 prizes.


By: Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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