Islamabad, Feb 12 (APP): Civil Defence, Special Branch of Police, Islamabad Police, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan will get 65 Bomb Disposal Response Vehicles this year. These vehicles will be equipped with bomb disposal kits, jammers, scanners and disrupters. Some of these vehicles will also have remote controlled robots. Talking to APP here on Wednesday, Director General Civil Defence Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Aftab Hussain said that following the current government’s policy of strengthening the security forces in counter terrorist activities, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has tasked him to improve the training and capacity building of the bomb disposal squads.
Accordingly, since May 2013, bulk of the bomb disposal squad of civil defence and ICT Police has been trained on modern counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) techniques by the foreign trainers. The training is continuing this year as well.
Foreign donors have committed to provide the 65 bomb disposal vehicles during the current year.
In January, Islamabad Police got first of these vehicles when Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan handed over keys of the vehicle to Inspector General Police Islamabad Sikandar Hayat.
According to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the vehicles will save precious lives of bomb disposal squad members, who take years to become experts in their field.
The vehicles will put behind an era when a technician cut off bombs with clippers in his bare hands. Many lost lives in tragic accidents.
All through these past years when the country was hit with waves of bomb attacks, it was challenging for the bomb disposal squads to keep their morale high.
Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Aftab Hussain said the robots will approach bombs and a man sitting in the van will control it remotely and get information about the type of device and use computer software to decide how to defuse the bomb.
He further added that with this training and capacity building, the bomb disposal squad will perform their task more safely and efficiently.
The Civil Defence department plays an important role to keep people safe and prevent disasters.
Realizing the lack of coordination between federal and provincial civil defence set ups, the provincial civil defence directors now meet after every three months under the chairmanship of DG Civil Defence to discuss issues and take steps to resolve them.
Aftab said Civil Defence offers round the year training courses of three to four weeks to citizens in fire prevention, firefighting, search and rescue, disaster management, evacuation, bomb disposal, camouflage and concealment and first aid.
In last five years, about 30,000 citizens including a large number of women attended these courses. The DG Civil Defence said number of steps have been taken to improve efficiency and performance of volunteers.
Now volunteers who act as first responders to any emergency get Rs.400 remuneration instead of meager Rs 150 per day, he added.