All photos courtesy of Ministry of Interior on Facebook
In an effort to reduce emergency response times, Qatar’s Civil Defense department has been testing out new fire trucks that are small enough to operate within the country’s malls.
According to the Ministry of Interior, the vehicles are electrically operated and thus produce no exhaust or pollutants. They are also equipped to fight fires on the spot.
In a statement, MOI explained:
“(The trucks have a) capacity of 700 liters of water and foam by 3% and the amount of water pushing force of 15 meters and fitted with a hose to extinguish up to 35 meters and continue the work of the rush of water from the reservoir for 30 minutes.”
Fires in Qatar are an all-too-common occurrence, due to factors like poor electrical wiring, the searing summer heat and user error.
The vast majority of the time, large fires here are put out quickly, with minimal injuries.
But in crowded places such as malls, the consequences of such blazes can be disastrous. Not surprisingly, the new fire trucks are first being tested at Villaggio Mall, where 19 people were killed in 2012 in one of Doha’s deadliest fires on record.
At that time, 13 children, four staffers and two firefighters died from suffocation after being trapped in an upstairs daycare at the mall.
An official investigation into the fire found that poor coordination between government agencies responsible for responding to the fire played a major role in the tragedy.
It stated, for example, that the mall was not properly equipped to deal with the fire and that Civil Defense did not know children were trapped in the mall until 30 minutes after they arrived on the scene.
Final testing phase
According to Maj. Hussain Aman Al Ali, the new fire trucks will be permanently present inside of shopping complexes and will be used by security personnel in the event of fires until Civil Defense teams reach the site of the blaze.
The vehicles are in the final modifications phase and are expected to be rolled out in the next couple of months, he added.
Would the presence of the new trucks make you feel safer? Thoughts?