DUBAI — On rainy days, civic bodies are busy doing one of their main tasks — attending to emergencies. The Dubai Municipality (DM) has been doing that since the rains started on Saturday.
However, it was literally a testing time of another nature of emergency for the entire staff and customers at the municipality’s headquarters on Wednesday.
A fire alarm that rang at 10am spread panic among the customers and staff. In six minutes, around 2,000 people, including municipality Director-General Hussain Nasser Lootah, were evacuated through emergency stairs from the seven-storey building.
The sirens of fire engines, police vans and rescue vehicles took everyone by surprise and passersby crowded near the building on Al Baniyas Road in Deira to check what was going on. It was when they reached the assembling points outside the building that everyone realised that it was a mock emergency drill conducted in association with the Civil Defence and police. And it was the first-ever mock drill conducted at the civic body’s building.
Assistant Director-General for Fire Fighting and Rescue Operations in the Dubai Civil Defence Department Col. Ahmed Obeid Al Sayegh led the drill, supervised by Major Rashid Al Sumaiti, Head of Branch Centres Section. A total of 22 personnel from the Civil Defence and Dubai Police were involved in the drill, in addition to the Emergency and Crisis Team of the municipality headed by Redha Hassan Salman.
“The mock drill was conducted by creating a scene of fire at the network server room and there were two persons who enacted the role of the injured,” Salman told Khaleej Times. Firefighters checked the building floor by floor to ensure everything was alright.
“The drill lasted 23 minutes and it tested the capacities of not just the municipality, but also other departments involved. Everything went fine and all departments were satisfied with the standards and procedures followed and the operations conducted,” added Salman, who is also the Director of Public Health and Safety Department.