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The General Directorate of Civil Defence (GDCD) recorded a reduction in response time in 2017 as compared to the previous year, latest data show.

The Civil Defense Statistics – 2017 also reveal that there fewer fire incidents last year than in 2016, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Interior.

A total of 1,663 incidents were registered last year “in spite of urban development and infrastructure works, which have witnessed great expansion throughout the country”, the report noted.

A break-up of the types of fire shows that fires at industrial establishments decreased from 23 in 2016 to 16 in 2017. Also, the number of farm fires went down from 29 to 21 while vehicle collisions decreased from 316 to 296 in the same period. In all, the number of such cases decreased from 368 in 2016 to 333 in 2017, the statistics show.

The GDCD recorded a reduction in the average response time in 2017, taking 7-10 minutes to reach the scene. In comparison, the average response time in 2016 was 7-12 minutes. Civil Defence sectors in the south, north and Doha recorded a decrease in response time of 1-3 minutes despite works being carried out on roads, intersections, bridges and tunnels as well as other aspects of urban development that may delay reaching a site, the report stressed.

“The public also plays a key role in regulating response time, as proper and timely reporting and providing detailed information about the location helps the firefighting team reach the spot faster,” it added

In order to promote awareness of fire safety procedures among the public and various institutions, the GDCD carried out a large number of training activities in 2017, including 132 mock fire drills, 141 practical training courses, 98 exhibitions and lectures, and 132 other activities. The details are as follow:

In order to ensure the safety of engineering plans of both residential and institutional buildings, as many as 31,537 plans were examined in terms of safety procedures, of which 12,046 were approved. Some observations and amendments were recommended to 18,991 plans to comply with the latest requirements related to safety procedures and in accordance with the standards and basics used in the safety of facilities.

In 2017, the GDCD considered 15,142 products related to safety systems and approved 10,516 of them, which met the specifications approved in the country.

At the same time, the GDCD succeeded in training its cadres on how to keep abreast of latest developments in the field of civil defence. It also dealt with the training of a number of bodies concerned in the public and private sectors, where 61 training courses were organised, benefiting 936 trainees. In comparison, 53 courses benefited 765 trainees in 2016.

In terms of training the authorities concerned in the private and government sectors, the number of trained bodies reached 1,153, compared to 763 in 2016. The number of trained government bodies increased from 219 in 2016 to 317 last year, while the private sector saw the corresponding figure rise from 544 in 2016 to 836 in 2017.

The number of students enrolled at the Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College has nearly doubled from last year to 87 in 2018. A total of 49 students were enrolled in 2017 and 12 in 2016. The college also presented many accredited trainers and specialised courses in the fields of fire, emergency and safety.

“The General Directorate of Civil Defence looks forward to achieving the Ministry of Interior's strategy in the public safety sector and enhancing its procedures in various sectors in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. The GDCD will accomplish it by raising the level of efficiency and skills, optimising the use of resources and implementing laws and regulations, co-ordinating with all relevant authorities in the country as well as ensuring the implementation of planned projects and programmes,” the report added.