Grand Mosque emergency plan in place

Worshippers try to reach Al-Hijr Al-Aswad, or the Black Stone, in the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Monday.

Worshippers try to reach Al-Hijr Al-Aswad, or the Black Stone, in the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Monday.

Civil Defense forces have been mobilized to implement the general emergency response plan since the beginning of Ramadan to deal with the influx of pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque in Makkah, head of the Grand Mosque Civil Defense Col. Eid Al-Hazmi said.

“Thirty teams have been trained to deal with any situation which may arise due to the expected increase in the number of pilgrims in the coming days,” he said.

Civil defense personnel have been distributed in groups of 30 at the entrances and surrounding areas of the mosque and are ready to provide emergency services or to carry out any medical evacuation operations for the sick or the elderly, if needed.

Al-Hazmi said that 30 officers and 650 personnel have been deployed in the congested areas inside and around the mosque.

Individuals work in a group system 24 hours a day, with one group working 6-hour shifts while the others rest for 24 hours.

Al-Hazmi explained that the officers and members of the Grand Mosque Civil Defense are keen on providing emergency services to visitors in need of assistance and are also prepped for transferring emergency cases to hospital and clinics. In addition, they are prepared to administer first aid in cooperation with Red Crescent teams who are also present.

So far, the Civil Defense has been receiving 75 cases a day, the majority of whom are elderly pilgrims suffering from fatigue and who require to be taken to health centers for further treatment. Members of the Civil Defense are also trained to provide guidance to pilgrims.

“We are in constant touch with the operations room of the Makkah Civil Defense which is informed in case of an incident. The details of the case are recorded for statistical purposes,” Al-Hazmi explained.

He said that the Binladen Company in coordination with the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs has launched new projects in and around the Grand Mosque. Accordingly, the Civil Defense groups have been distributed taking into consideration the construction sites in the area of the Grand Mosque.

Al-Hazmi said that a special plan has been prepared to deal with the upsurge in the numbers of visitors during the last days of the month of fasting, particularly the 27th of Ramadan and the night of the completion of the Holy Qur’an.

He said the Civil Defense will increase the number of groups to 60 support groups during the last days of Ramadan, especially on Fridays. The personnel will be posted at all entrances, exits and the congested areas in and around the Grand Mosque.


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