Posted on April 07, 2017

As part of the ongoing cooperation between the Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ and the General Directorate of Civil Defense “GDCD”, Ashghal activated its strategic partnership with the GDCD by raising the slogan ‘Hand in Hand to Prevent Risks’, through applying civil defense safety requirements in all of the Authority’s buildings.

A meeting between Ashghal and the General Directorate of Civil Defense was attended by Mr. Mohammed Ali Darwish, Director of Technical Support Affairs, Mr. Mishal Sultan Al Hitmi, Director of General Services Affairs, and a number of managers and employees from Ashghal. Attendees from the Ministry of Interior included Brigadier Hamad Othman Al Duhimi, Assistant Director-General of the GDCD, in addition to head sections and officers.

The partnership between the Public Works Authority and the General Directorate of Civil Defense is activated through implementing the slogan "Hand in Hand for Risk Prevention". It aims to follow and implement safety requirements in all of the Authority’s buildings, starting from the design stage to the implementation stage, under the slogan “Safety First” which is adopted by Ashghal inside its buildings and at its project sites. During the meeting, Ashghal’s directors honoured the attendees from the Ministry of Interior, represented by the GDCD, in recognition of their efforts in supporting Ashghal and contributing to its employee’s skills development to ensure the safety of the Authority’s staff and properties.

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Mr. Meshal Sultan Al-Hitmi, Director of General Services Affairs, emphasised the Authority's keenness to develop a safety management system that aims to provide a safe working environment for its employees through the development of general safety policies and implementation of evacuation drills, in addition to the necessary trainings provided for employees. “In cooperation with the General Directorate of Civil Defense, we succeeded in training 160 employees who received theoretical and practical training on the principles of fire extinction and emergency evacuation. Some of them received accredited certifications as international trainers,” He added.

Yousuf Ahmed Al-Obaidli, General Services Department Manager, said that the corporation between Ashghal and the General Directorate for the Civil Defense will continue through fire-fighting and emergency trainings conducted for Ashghal employees; including the evacuation drills that are repeated twice per year. This is in addition to applying the awareness programme “Safe Pathway”, which aims to train security and safety specialists in Ashghal through the Media and Preventive Education section at the GDCD.

For his part, Abdullah Al Khayareen, Head of General Services Section and Evacuation Project Manager, praised the efforts of the General Directorate of Civil Defense in terms of enhancing security and safety in Qatar in general, through its initiatives in raising and promoting public awareness whether through written and visual media, or the various social media platforms. He continued: “The Public Works Authority pays high attention to providing security and safety requirements in all of its buildings, and is always keen to preserve the emergency and firefighting systems and equipment in a clean and accessible work environment. The authority also ensures that those systems are maintained and continue working as required, in addition to their readiness for any emergency.”

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“Through frequent repeated evacuations, we have noticed increased awareness among Ashghal staff with regards to evacuation plans. This was reflected in the record times spent by emergency officials from each department to evacuate buildings during previous evacuations," he added. Brigadier Hamad Al Duhaimi, Assistant Director-General of the General Directorate of Civil Defense, stressed the importance of cooperating with Ashghal and other institutions with regards to preserving lives and protecting them from risks, as well as enhancing activation of the slogan "Hand in Hand for Risk Prevention" through more initiatives and training provided by the Department to Ashghal staff.

First Lieutenant Eng. Abdullah Issa Al Kaabi, Inspection Officer at the Prevention Department, explained the differences between establishments, the different security and safety requirements of each establishment according to its nature, the role of the General Directorate of Civil Defense in inspection processes, and the role of the Engineering Drawings Section in revising the requirements needed to ensure peoples’ safety. He also pointed out that the Media and Preventive Education Section organises several training courses to explain how to carry out evacuations and to train Ashghal’s staff to implement evacuations, in coordination with the General Directorate of Civil Defense.

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