Sharjah Rescue Department missions Image Credit: Sharjah Police

Sharjah: First responders in Sharjah have acquired new tools to ensure better handling of emergencies.

A rapid response vehicle equipped with hydraulic cutters to rescue people trapped in cars during accidents has joined the fleet of emergency vehicles in Sharjah, Major Abdullah Al Khayal, acting director of Sharjah Police’s Rescue Department, said. It is also fitted with hydraulic equipment to lift vehicles and has foam to deal with fires.

A quick response police unit will be based at Sahara Centre to respond to accidents in the area. Manned by two personnel, the unit will operate 24/7 in shifts.

154 land rescue missions in first half of 2018

Robots and drones will soon be used to improve safety on beaches.

Maj Al Khayal said remote-controlled robotic vessels deployed at beaches will be twice as fast a human rescuer. It will be operated from a special operations room.

Designed to withstand harsh weather and currents, the robotic vessels are capable of saving more than one person at a time.

The department will also use a special drone to locate and rescue people in Sharjah waters.

21 sea rescue missions

Maj Al Khayal said the drone, which will go into service soon, will be fitted with cameras that can enlarge images by 38 times. It will also be equipped with a thermal sensor to survey beaches and safety tubes to rescue drowning people. The tubes can be deployed remotely.

The department has also acquired a device to map out a topographical profile of the seabed so as to reduce human resources (divers) in search operations and save time.

Sharjah Police’s land and maritime rescue teams carried out 175 rescue missions — 154 on land and 21 at sea — in the first half of the year.

These missions included rescuing people trapped in cars after traffic accidents, rescue people from drowning, people lost in the desert, towing broken down vehicles, and even opening stuck elevator doors.

Marine patrols on Al Khan and Al Hamriya beaches responded to 21 incidents in the first six months of the year, including 12 drowning incidents, seven lifting of objects from the seabed and two jet ski collisions.

Interesting cases

Maj Al Khayal cited two incidents handled by quick response teams.

In the first incident, the control room received a call about a family dispute on the beach, in which an 18-year-old man jumped into the sea to end his life because his parents refused to let him marry the person of his choice. He was rescued rushed to hospital.

The second case involved a manager of a company who called the control room at night saying that his car keys fell into the sea at Al Mamzer. Divers retrieved the keys from a depth of five metres.