Handling SOS calls while fasting is the norm for this Dubai cop

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Handling SOS calls while fasting is the norm for this Dubai cop

Dubai - Whether it's Iftar or Suhour, there are around 60 employees in the office.


Amira Agarib

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Published: Mon 20 May 2019, 4:43 PM

For Dubai Police officer Major Bilal Juma, Ramadan is just like any other month. The officer, who has been with the police since 1998, works in the city's nerve centre - the police command and control room.

The emergency line receives 12,000 calls daily, which tend to go up during the holy month. "Over 100 officers work in three shifts to attend to those calls. Our target is to answer a call within 10 seconds.

"Once we analyse the nature of the call, we determine the seriousness of the emergency - casualties, intensity, etc. - and pass the information on to the department concerned," said the officer.

Major Bilal said spending Ramadan days on the job and having Iftar and Suhour with his colleagues has become the norm. "My colleagues have become my extended family. Ending my fast while performing my duty of helping out people is a form of worship. It leaves me with a feeling of happiness and brotherhood."

Whether it's Iftar or Suhour, Major Bilal said there'd be around 60 employees in the office. "At Iftar time, all of us end our fast with dates, water and juice. We then take turns to have a bigger meal and offer prayers as we cannot all go out at once. We take about 20-30 minutes for this."

The police provide free meals to those on duty during Suhour or Iftar times.

When asked how his family reacted to him constantly being away from them during Ramadan, he said: "My mother, wife and kids are aware of the nature of my job and are used to the fact that I can't be with them for Iftar. On my days off, I enjoy Iftar with them."

The officer said Ramadan is a busy season for the police. "There are several minor accidents as people rush home after work for Iftar. Many motorists don't abide by traffic rules like not leaving enough space between vehicles, speeding, etc."

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