As part of its ongoing emergency preparedness programme, Qatargas conducted a complete evacuation exercise of its Doha Head office building in West Bay.
The exercise was led by Qatargas’ Emergency Management Services, with support from the Qatar Civil Defense Directorate (QCDD). The Qatargas Head Office building is a 52-storey tower which currently has employees of both Qatargas and Qatar Petroleum. Other parties involved in the exercise included Hamad Ambulance Services, local Police (AL FAZAA), Qatargas Initial Response Team, Qatargas Medical and trained Floor Wardens from both Qatargas and Qatar Petroleum.
This emergency exercise was part of Qatargas’ annual emergency exercises and drills plan. The primary aim of the exercise is to promote fire safety at the workplace and to boost the confidence of employees regarding the safe evacuation of the building. The exercise also aimed at enhancing Qatargas’ relationship with QCDD and practicing their response as well as that of other response agencies.
Qatargas’ Chief Safety, Environment and Quality Officer Randy Lee Stadler said, “The realism of the drill helps the first responders reap the benefit of practice. We get hands-on experience, which is invaluable when it comes to working with the Qatar Civil Defense, our first Responder. This is something we prepare for but hope will never have to play out for real.”
He added that the standard of QCDD’s performance was excellent, especially in the search and rescue operation.
Civil Defense Operations Director, Brigadier Hamad Al-Duhaimi added, “I am very happy with the well-organized fire safety and evacuation arrangements at the Qatargas Doha Head Office building”. He added that this exercise was carried out as part of a periodical preparedness assessment of QCDD for any emergency situation. QCDD has emergency pre-plans for all types of incidents and emergencies and these exercises evaluate the effectiveness of those plans.
Qatargas’ Emergency Management Services Manager and Chief Fire Officer Hassan Jassim Abu-Khamis said, “We reconvene immediately after the exercise with role players and Qatar Civil Defense to figure out what worked well and where protocol improvements must be made. We were encouraged by the QCDD support to conduct this exercise as it is important to ensure that the Qatargas Initial Response Team is well-informed and is able to support QCDD during any real emergency”.
Mr. Abu Khamis thanked Qatar Civil Defense, the organizing team and the employees who participated in the exercise for their cooperation and quick response in evacuating the building safely.
During the two weeks leading up to the exercise, the Qatargas Emergency Management Services Department conducted various learning and information sessions for the occupants of the building and floor wardens as part of the Emergency Response Preparedness Campaign. An official debriefing was held on the same day with Qatargas and Qatar Petroleum role players, observers, floor wardens as well as with Qatar Civil Defense officers.
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