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Dubai Police rescue team returns

posted on 07/01/2005: 1153 views

A team of police officers from Dubai that has returned from a rescue mission in Indonesia said the experience prepared them to handle disasters better. "We chose to go to Indonesia because it was affected so badly. Indonesia was hit by the earthquake, and it was also hit by the tsunami," said Brigadier Jasem Bu Ramitha, Director of the Dubai Police Operations Department "This rescue mission was initiated in line with a directive from General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence," said Brig Ramitha.

The rescue team coordinated its actions with the Mohammad Bin Rashid Humanitarian and Charitable Foundation, he said. "The rescue team included sixteen officers, four paramedics, and five police dogs and specialists," Brig Ramitha said. "The first step of the work was search and rescue of victims, and this was completed successfully by the police team," said Abdul Rahman Bin Subaih, a member of the aid team sent to Indonesia by the foundation.

"Now, we are evaluating the damage and aid required.

The most important thing at the moment is the need for medical care, and we are going to establish a field hospital for the victims," he said in a conversation with Gulf News.

Dubai was the only emirate that sent a rescue team to Indonesia, said Captain Juma Ahmad Butti, Director of the Dubai Police Rescue Department.

"While we were there, we had at least eight aftershocks, and four of them were very strong. We continued our mission, however, despite the danger," Capt Butti said.

"We were the only Arab rescue team there working with the Indonesian rescue teams. Other countries have sent aid teams, but nobody else sent a rescue team. When we arrived, the authorities told us the rescue operations were over, and there were no victims to be helped.

"We did our own search, however, and looked for people who needed help. We spoke with residents to see if they knew of any victims who needed to be rescued," he said.

The Dubai team rescued a fisherman, he said. "The fisherman was fishing on the day of the disaster. We were able to reach him and rescue him, and then send him for treatment at the field hospital in the Banda Aceh district," he said. All members of the rescue team were vaccinated against various diseases, such as cholera, Capt Butti said.

"We used different forms of medicine to keep the team fit and healthy, and to prevent any team members from becoming infected," he said. The team stayed in Indonesia for six days, and then decided to return home as the chances of finding survivors dwindled, he said.

The team members benefited from participating in this mission, said Captain Hussain Al Rahoomi, Head of the Emergency Task Force in the Rescue Department of Dubai Police. "We participated in the rescue mission in Bam in Iran last year. We learned a lot from that mission. This mission was also beneficial. It gave us a different experience than the one we got in Iran," Capt Al Rahoomi said. "We are now used to all means of transportation to reach disaster areas. Also, in Iran, the disaster took place in one area, and the victims were buried underground. In Indonesia, the disaster area was huge, with bodies everywhere. "The team is prepared to participate in future rescue efforts," he said. (The Gulf News)


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