Sharjah: When Sharjah Civil Defence responded to a deadly house fire in June in the Al Ghafya area, firefighters saved some residents living in the burning home but a mother and her two daughters died from smoke suffocation.
Now, with the help of a new fleet of fire inspection vehicles, routine patrols to be conducted twice daily by firefighters may help prevent such tragic calamities from happening in neighbourhoods across the emirate by focusing on prevention and safety.
Announced on Monday, 11 new fire patrol vehicles were rolled out in Sharjah by Civil Defence officials with a view to bolstering a greater sense of security over fire ravaging homes and families.
First responders in the patrol units are expected to meet a four-minute fire response time and are considered the first of its kind in UAE, said Lieutenant Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director-general of Sharjah Civil Defence, during a press conference at Civil Defence headquarters.
He said the patrols will not only be first responders to accident sites but they will carry out inspection work on construction sites and routine safety checks on other buildings to ensure safety regulations are being met.
“The rescue team unit is now fully trained and ready to deal with any emergency,” Lt Col Al Naqbi said.
In each patrol will be two professionally and trained firefighters equipped with high-tech equipment.
In case they spot any property owners storing materials in a dangerous way, which could cause fires, they will issue warnings before penalties are necessary.
“Their role will be inspection and alerting,” he said.
Lt Col Al Naqbi said that the department is working to achieve the Ministry of Interior’s strategies, including reducing fire incidents and increasing the response times to fire incidents as well as achieving the highest safety in all establishments.
The new patrols will also carry out field surveys in the emirate to collect information for Civil Defence.