For the first time, children have learnt about emergency services and life-saving tips through model vans that showcase the work of real first-responder vehicles.
The educational vehicles – which demonstrate the functions of police, firefighting, rescue and paramedic vans – were displayed on Tuesday by Abu Dhabi Police at Landscaping Week, an event organised by Abu Dhabi Municipality.
An official said the special vehicles also help remove any fear children may have of first-responders and authorities, by familiarising them with the vans and the personnel who operate them.
Speaking to Gulf News at the Community Police stall at the event, Captain Mariam Al Za’abi, a paramedics officer at Abu Dhabi Police, said children often feel scared to approach firefighters and rescue teams in emergencies.
“They don’t want to come out to us. That’s why we are explaining the operations of each van to pupils and familiarising them with different tools, like vehicle cutting machines in case of accidents, when police officers cut doors and parts of vehicles to pull out victims who get trapped inside their cars. We are also showing how to handle fire extinguishers,” Al Za’abi said.
“We demonstrated to them the functions of the tools and told kids that in cases of emergencies they should tell the police their location and address by dialling 999. I have witnessed many cases where kids can’t say anything and they don’t know what to do and feel very scared,” Al Za’abi said.
“When I attended a call in an emergency situation, the child felt scared of me and was not letting me hold him. He thought that I was a police officer who will put him in jail. So we need to interact with kids to befriend them.”
Ahmad Salem, 14, a seventh-grader at Al Ghazali School in Abu Dhabi, said: “I have learnt about these different vans of police, who taught us about firefighting tools, fire extinguishers and rescue vehicles… I also learnt lot about environment. We should avoid generating waste and dump waste in designated bins only.”