UAE: How volunteers juggle full-time jobs with rescue operations – Information


They undergo an intensive coaching schedule forward of dealing with emergencies



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Printed: Tue 16 Aug 2022, 4:28 PM

Final up to date: Tue 16 Aug 2022, 10:36 PM

As many as 85,000 requests. 3,000 volunteers. Overlaying all seven emirates. These figures roughly sum up the final 4 years of the UAE Rescue volunteer group.

Based in 2018, the group was the brainchild of Emirati Ali Al Shammari. For the reason that day it was fashioned, they’ve carried out a number of rescue operations all throughout the UAE, together with in Ras Al Khaimah’s Jebel Jais space and Fujairah, the place latest floods had wreaked havoc. About 300 volunteers from the group can be found at any given time. Rescuers include deep-sea divers, highway rescue specialists, cave rescuers, first aiders and aerial search pilots from over 20 nationalities.

Volunteers are linked by the group’s app by way of which rescue requests are lodged. Relying on the situation, the folks closest to the world reply whereas different senior members hold monitor.

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“If somebody doesn’t reply inside a set time, then different group members go to verify on them,” stated Al Shammari.

Going through challenges

The group, which is a non-profit, faces a number of challenges on a day-to-day foundation. “One is the financial half,” stated Al Shammari. “We don’t take cash from folks for the rescues. We’re the sons of Zayed. We’re doing what he has taught us to do- assist folks to the perfect of our skill. Nonetheless, the actual fact is that the gear is pricey. My automobiles have been broken a number of instances. In Fujariah alone, all 4 automobiles of mine bought broken. By the years I’ve spent greater than half one million dirhams in repairs on my automobiles.”

For some others, it’s the act of balancing a full-time job and serving to out with rescue that’s tough. “I work full time,” stated Mohammed Khalifa Al-Dosari, who makes a speciality of diving rescue for the group. “Nonetheless, I’m fortunate to have a really supportive firm. If a notification involves me throughout work hours, they let me go for it.”

The obvious problem is the hazard to life. “Some rescues are dangerous,” admitted Khaleel Babu. “The latest one was in Fujairah. When automobiles are caught in water and you might be pulling them out, there are quite a lot of unknown elements there. There may very well be one thing below the water that you simply don’t anticipate. Nonetheless, by God’s grace we’ve got not had any mishaps but.”

The start

Hailing from Al Ain, Al Shammari was usually rescuing folks from wadis throughout flash floods whereas working in Oman. Nonetheless, one heartbreaking incident throughout that point left a mark on his thoughts. “I had come again after rescuing a number of folks from the Wadi Sharm area after the robust rains once I noticed my mom crying,” he stated.

“It seems that our Omani neighbour and her youngsters have been caught in a wadi, they usually had died. What broke my coronary heart most was that they have been just some kilometers away from the place I used to be rescuing folks. If I had identified, I might have saved them. Nonetheless, this was within the Nineties, the times earlier than cell telephones. So, there was no approach of contacting one another.”

Years later, when he returned to the UAE, he knew that he needed to do one thing to assist folks. Family and friends suggested him to make use of social media to achieve out to folks. “I obtained 500 calls the very first day I put out my cell phone,” he chuckled.

“Then I knew that I wanted one thing extra streamlined.” Al Shammari then set about making the UAE Rescue app the place folks might log of their request together with a location pin and a photograph of the incident.

Constructing the Workforce

The primary folks to affix Al Shammari have been his pals. Quickly, he began extending the invite to others. Nonetheless, he made certain that everybody in his crew was fully vetted and educated.

Luxemburg nationwide, Cyndi Jamila Faber, who joined the group in the summertime of 2021, was a kind of who went by way of the rigorous course of. “Once I first contacted the group and stated I needed to affix as a volunteer, they ask me a number of theoretical questions,” she stated.

“As soon as they have been glad that I knew what I used to be doing, they carried out some sensible check. A few of the members would purposely get their automobile wheels caught within the sand and they might observe as I pulled it out.”

Born and raised within the UAE, Cyndi has been pulling automobiles out of the desert ever since she bought her license at 18. Nonetheless, she is glad that she needed to undergo the checks. “If you find yourself out on a rescue, there isn’t a room for a mistake,” she stated.

“We’re out rescuing folks’s lives, and also you want a crew that is aware of all the security procedures.”

Indian Khaleel Babu, a member since 2018, stated he had undergone over two months of coaching initially of his time within the group. “I used to be educated in scuba diving, swimming, powered paragliding and mountaineering,” he stated.

“I’ve climbed virtually each mountain within the UAE and saved it on Wikiloc as a number of of our rescue requests come from individuals who get misplaced throughout climbing. So, we’ve got to know our approach round.” He shared a video of certainly one of his coaching classes.



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