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Ali Mohammed Qali
first into the fire SELFLESS COURAGE FOR THE SANCTITY OF LIFE

The most important role played by the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate is to protect the lives and property of citizens and residents.

The Directorate boasts of 38 fire stations manned by highly trained and skilled firefighters throughout the State of Kuwait. The firefighters take part in drills regularly using state-of-the-art equipment which gives them the upper hand to face any situation around the clock and keep to a minimum the number of casualties and limit damage to property.

For a firefighter the day begins with reporting at the fire station at the beginning of his shift and ensuring the vehicles and equipment are functional when emergencies arise. This is in addition to a fire drill.

Professionally speaking, firefighting is a very demanding and dangerous career.  Firefighters must always be ready to face the worst scenario because in addition to putting out fires and protecting property, they may need to give first aid to fire victims and rescue those trapped inside their apartments.

What makes the task more difficult is the heavy equipment firefighters have to handle such as water hoses, and also climbing ladders. This is in addition to the heavy gear which a fireman has to wear to protect himself from the heat and flames, and dangerous material such as poison gas and chemicals, potential explosive gases and radioactive substances.

The task of firemen becomes easy when the entire unit works as a team and performs specific functions which are determined beforehand during drills.

It is a high risk job where death is an ever present danger because of incidents such as walls collapsing while fighting the flames or even the entire floor caving in due to heat.

In the line of duty a fireman must learn to be part of the team and be ready to sacrifice his life and most importantly be committed and dedicated to the job because the Kuwaiti community depends on firemen for help and rescue missions.

Adventure

The life of a fireman is more of an adventure given the types of calls the department receives, including various types of missions, rescuing people trapped by flames, etc.

During each mission when firemen arrive at the site they are divided into main groups. The task of one group is to put out the fire and the other to rescue people who may be trapped inside the buildings. This is done by overcoming all obstacles and even putting one’s own life at risk.

The 2013 statistics show the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate carried out 12,389 fire and rescue missions compared to 15,370 in 2012. This trend shows that such incidents are on the decline.

Most of the fires reported were the result of an overload in power consumption, short circuits and children playing with fire and other combustible substances.

The reduction in the number of incidents is due to a strategy put in place by General Yousef Al-Ansari to ensure the department bridges the gap between the community and the directorate by promoting awareness campaigns through the media to enlighten the people on fire safety measures and how to deal with fires.

Coordination

The contingency plan adopted  by the head of Directorate’s Public Relations and Media Department Colonel Khalil Al-Ameer is to work in coordination with the media through campaigns to highlight risk factors and single out repeated incidents and encouraging house owners to install firefighting equipment in their homes. This is in addition to safety drills.

At the moment the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate is using the latest media technology and social networking websites such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to post all fire incidents on a daily basis as part of our awareness campaign.

On behalf of the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate I would like to take this opportunity to thank the government of Kuwait, represented by the Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah for his initiative to cover firefighters with health insurance and hope this will be followed by healthcare benefits in future.

We urge parents and the home owners to feel free to contact the nearest fire station or contact us through our social media networks in case of any kind of emergency. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

By Ali Mohammed Qali

First Lieutenant

Kuwait Fire Services Directorate

 


By: Ali Mohammed Qali

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