Ajman, UAE

Ajman Police, Emirate of Ajman, United Arab Emirates – Instagram
Ajman Police Instagram

Translated from Arabic to English:
Ajman Police General Command uses an innovative method to reduce response times and accidents as part of its continuous efforts to support the Ministry of Interior’s strategy to enhance traffic safety on the emirate’s roads and its values towards excellence and innovation through the strategic objective of instilling a culture of innovation in the institutional environment.

His Excellency Major-General Sheikh Sultan bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Security and Safety of the Executive Council, Commander-in-Chief of Ajman Police has provided first responders with a device that allows them to make voice calls on all radio channels in up to 25 different languages with 6 messages in order to alert surrounding traffic to the presence of a first responders so that traffic can make room up to a distance of 400 meters across a circular area which allows the first responder a smooth and continuous approach to the incident.

His Excellency praised the achievement and stressed the approach taken by the leadership in order to increase the sense of security and safety in the emirate and to take advantage of modern technologies to adapt to the continuous increase in the preparation of vehicles on the roads, in addition to the support of the direct happiness of ideas and creative suggestions as this idea was among the suggestions of the leadership.
Instagram video:

Ajman Police, Emirate of Ajman, United Arab Emirates | Instagram

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi Civil Defense, United Arab Emirates | Ministry of Interior
Ajman Police Instagram


Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, has been briefed on the features of the a new state-of-the-art technology which has been introduced to the Abu Dhabi Civil Defense vehicles.

The main objective of the new technology is to reduce emergency response times through the use of in-vehicle radio to ensure giving ample room and way to ambulances and medical vehicles.

Sheikh Saif got acquainted on the new technology at the ministry’s Headquarters in the presence of Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior and a number of officers.

Colonel Mohammed Abdul Jaleel Al Ansari, Director General of Civil Defense in Abu Dhabi briefed Sheikh Saif on the new appliance which is likely to present a qualitative leap for ensuring the fastest possible emergency response.

The new set, which operates in four languages: Arabic, English, Tagalog and Urdu, fits within the ministry’s developmental plans to build up sophisticated emergency preparedness capabilities while ensuring smooth traffic flow on all roads.
Last year, Abu Dhabi Civil Defense has also introduced a new advanced traffic light control system in cooperation with the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport whereby the civil defense vehicles will be given priority to pass at the signal or junctions without disturbing the traffic flow and pedestrians.

Abu Dhabi TV News

Abu Dhabi Public Awareness Video

Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Qatar, Hamad Ambulance

Emergency Live

Within 2018, ambulance vehicles of Qatar will be equipped with a special transmitter and no one will ever say “I did not hear the siren!”

DOHA – The Asian state of Qatar is already well known for its high quality EMS service and for services between desert and cities. But, from now on, it will be recognized as a relevant example of sirens innovation across the world. The ambulances of Hamad Ambulance Service will be equipped with a special system, which sends a warning message on the radio to vehicles 200 meters in front of the ambulance.

So, if a driver has the radio on, he or she will suddenly hear the message: “Warning! Ambulance approaching. Give way.”

This system won’t be enough to eliminate indiscipline, but surely it will be a great help. Experience taught us that if we are listening to loud music, we are not able to hear the siren. We hope that this system could be improved and be helpful for other rescuers all over the world.

Facebook video:

Emergency Live | Ambulance Service of Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar | December 03, 2016

Qatar motorists to get alerts on the radio when ambulance approaches

Doha News

Ambulances in Qatar are testing new technology that alerts vehicles about their approach by broadcasting warning messages over the radio.

The system transmits the alerts to drivers who are tuned into FM radio stations and can reach those up to 200m in front of the ambulance. Here’s what it sounds like.

Australian makers Emergency Warning Systems (EWSP) said this allows motorists more time to move safely out of the way.

They also claim the the technology, called Radiolert Mobile FM80, is more effective than using sirens and lights, which can only be heard in vehicles up to 50m away.

Four ambulances yesterday began testing the system to see how it works in Doha traffic, Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) said.

The trial will run for two months to see if the system speeds up response times and improves safety for ambulances navigating Qatar’s busy roads.

If successful, it will be rolled out across all ambulances in the country, HMC told Doha News.

Drivers hearing a siren that is 20m away only have up to six seconds to respond, which can lead to accidents, particularly at busy intersections.

How it works

Emergency vehicles are fitted with a small box, which has six buttons for different emergency messages.

When the button is pressed, all vehicles up to 200m in front of the ambulance that are listening to FM radio at the time will get an alert.

Doha News

In Qatar, the message will interrupt the radio broadcast, saying:
“Warning, ambulance approaching. Give way.”

The alert will be given in Arabic, English, Hindi or Malayalam, depending on the language of the radio station being listened to at the time, Thomas Reimann, executive director of HMC’s healthcare coordination service said.

“Our ambulance lights and sirens can be seen or heard by drivers up to 50 meters away, but the Radiolert system allows us to forewarn drivers much further ahead,” he added in a statement.

According to EWSP, the system gives drivers more time to more safely move out of the way of approaching emergency vehicles.

This helps to speed up the vehicles’ response times, it added.

The technology is already being use in Indonesia, the company said.

Public awareness

Qatar’s Ambulance Service has more than 160 ambulances, 20 rapid response vehicles and three helicopters.

Last year, it responded to nearly 92 percent of emergency calls in Doha in under 10 minutes, HMC said.

Doha News

However, navigating the city’s increasingly congested roads has been a challenge.

To cope, authorities here have tried other technologies and campaigns to improve response times.

For example, in 2014 and 2015, Ashghal added sensors to traffic lights at more than 80 key intersections around town.

The Emergency Vehicle Preemption System (EVPS) allows ambulances and Civil Defense trucks to “speak” to traffic lights as they approach them, from up to 1km away.

Doha News

The signals can give them a green light at intersections, while safely stopping traffic coming from other directions.

Meanwhile, last May, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) warned residents that tailing ambulances to get through traffic is illegal.

And earlier, in 2012, the Ambulance Service ran the public awareness campaign Help us help you to teach people practical ways they could assist ambulances during emergencies.

“One of the key messages of the campaign was to give way to ambulances on the road in order to ensure our teams are able to arrive at their destination as quickly as possible.

The technology we are currently testing offers us a highly advanced way of alerting drivers that an ambulance is approaching,” Ahmed Al Bakri, operations manager at the Ambulance Service, said.

Lesley Walker – Qatar | Doha News


128 motorists fined for failing to give way


A Dubai ambulance.

Campaign aims to raise driver awareness as some motorists either do not know how to react situation or simply don’t care.

Dubai: Motorists who fail to give way to ambulances could be the reason behind the loss of someone’s life, emergency drivers and officials have said.

Amid concerns over the growing number of issues being faced by ambulance drivers, Dubai Police and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) are urging motorists to be more considerate and attentive to the sounds of sirens and warning lights of emergency cars.

Dubai Police launched ‘Give way for emergency vehicles, save a life’ campaign recently to raise awareness on how emergency vehicles cannot sometimes reach their respective destination on time because of drivers who do not give way.

In 2016, Dubai Police fined 128 motorists for failing to give way to police, ambulance and Civil Defence cars.

Talking to Gulf News, ambulance drivers described the risks they face regularly when motorists do not give way. This road behaviour, they said, poses a risk for both the ambulance driver and the patient being transferred, as the ambulance has to force its way between vehicles.

Mohammad Al Kheder, an ambulance driver with DCAS for the past year, says he sees this happen very often when responding to an emergency and believes some motorists either do not know how to react to the situation or simply choose not to give way because they don’t care.

“I have noticed people don’t realise there’s an emergency vehicle trying to pass through. We have to force our way to save the patient and overtake between the cars because cars won’t let us pass. This puts us and the patient at risk of getting into an accident and not being able to reach on time.”

Some, he says, do not know what to do and panic. This is especially common among new drivers.

“It’s not easy for us to find our way between cars and people need to know that it’s an emergency when the sirens and lights are on and should give us space. We’ve also noticed some motorists who get confused and instead block the road.”

He said even though some drivers may have had the intention of moving for the emergency vehicle, the way they move to make space can cause an accident. “I believe motorists should be trained by driving centres on how to give way to emergency vehicles.”

Khulood Noor Khan, working as an ambulance driver with DCAS for the last two years, described it as a ‘big problem’ that she experiences regularly. She also said it becomes a burden on her when people don’t give way as she tries to save a life.

“It gets extremely difficult and stressful for me to get to the patient or transfer the patient to the hospital within a few minutes, and many times I have faced this issue where people don’t give me way, but I do my best to reach on time.”

Khan, who mostly transfers moderate to severe cases, says motorists should know that a moderate case can turn severe at any second if they don’t move fast.

“It’s a big responsibility that we feel as ambulance drivers to save people, we could feel guilty if we were not able to do our job properly because of errant motorists. We ask everyone to please give way because they do not know the case in the car with us.”

Births inside ambulances

Out of 49 cases of births inside ambulances in 2015, several of them were as a result of delays on the road, confirmed Khalifa Bin Darri, executive director of DCAS.

“What some drivers on the road need to know is that when they don’t give way to an ambulance for example, the case being dealt with can turn moderate if it was mild or in other cases severe if it was first moderate. Every second counts here,” he said.

The current fine for failing to give way is Dh500 and four black points on the driver’s licence. However, there have been recent recommendations to increase it, said Bin Darri.

“We get around 500 emergency calls every day for all kinds of cases. No matter what the case is, cars should automatically move out of the way. It becomes very challenging for our ambulance drivers, especially during traffic or on narrow roads.”

Dubai Police have been constantly sending tweets on their official Twitter page to ensure full awareness among the community

“The ambulance could be heading to an accident or transferring someone to the hospital. There should always be space given to ambulance drivers. Our current response time is eight minutes but to reach our goal of four minutes by 2020, it could be a major challenge.”

Bin Darri pointed out that some motorists fail to give way because they are busy on the phone or not concentrating on the road. “Others simply do not care because it’s not their family inside the ambulance.”

To simply give way to ambulance cars, he said, “motorists can take a slight right or left to leave some space”.

Ambulance drivers, he added, have been instructed to report drivers disrupting their way “but many of our ambulance drivers say that the only thing they have on their mind that minute is to reach the accident site or transfer patients in the shortest time-frame”.

Bin Darri said he once received a call from an Emirati man who was very bothered when the cars were not giving way for the ambulance car transferring his mother to the hospital.

“He was really bothered because as he was driving behind the ambulance, he noticed that the ambulance car was slowing down and could not move forward. He then became aware that the car in front of the ambulance was the reason. The Emirati guy drove beside the other car and told him it could be their mother or sister in that car.”

Some errant motorists sometimes take advantage of rushing ambulance cars during rush hour and drive behind them to reach faster, he added.

Amira Agarib – Dubai | Khaleej Times | amira@khaleejtimes.com


49 babies born on Dubai ambulances this year

Khaleej Times

Usual reasons include being stuck in traffic.

A paramedic was killed recently and 49 women delivered on ambulances since the beginning of the year as Dubai motorists failed to give way to emergency vehicles. The Dubai Police have registered 128 violations for not giving way to emergency vehicles during the period.

To educate motorists that failure to give way to emergency vehicles can cost lives, Dubai’s traffic police have launched a campaign called ‘Give Way’.

Brigadier Omer Al Shamsi, Deputy Director of the General Department of Operation Room, said Dubai Police chief Lt.-Gen. Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina has ordered to impose strict penalties on motorists who don’t give way to emergency services. However, motorists will not be fined if there is no place to give way to emergency vehicles.

Stressing on the need to spread awareness among the public on this issue, Brig. Al Shamsi said when issuing driving licence, officials should ensure that the driver knows properly about the importance of giving way to police and defence vehicles and ambulances. Many drivers are obstructing the emergency vehicles by using the lane assigned to them, which can cause traffic jam and further affect the lives of those who need emergency care.

“Now, violators are fined Dh500 and issued four black points as a penalty. Considering the seriousness of the violation and its impact on the lives of people, this penalty is not enough. More than issuing fines, the traffic department needs to educate the violators to ensure that they don’t repeat the offence,” he added.

The department received a complaint from an Emirati man who faced difficulties to transport his mother to hospital. He couldn’t reach the hospital at the right time because people were reluctant give way to the ambulance, said Brig. Al Shamsi. “In developed countries, motorists give way for the emergency vehicles in seconds as they realise that a person’s life is in danger after seeing the blue and red light on the vehicle.”

He said that majority of the UAE residents are aware of this. “But there are some drivers, especially women, who get confused and keep driving on the same lane without giving way to emergency vehicles. At the time of an emergency , the police cannot spot all violations, but the drivers who behave arrogantly or found using phones without giving way to the emergency vehicles will be fined,” he said, adding that some drivers take the opportunity and get closer to emergency cars in order to find way, which also is dangerous.

Emergency cars should reach to the accident site within four minutes after receiving the call. Considering the increase in population and the number of vehicles on roads, people’s awareness on giving way to emergency vehicles is very important to achieve this, Brig. Al Shamsi added.

Amira Agarib – Dubai | Khaleej Times


This beep can tell you when to make way for ambulance



This small device intercepts the FM radio you are listening to in your car and warns you well in advance that an ambulance is on the way. You get sufficient time to swerve and give way to it.

With roads crowded, the arrival of an ambulance to the accident site and then rush to the nearest hospital can be difficult these days. And in a city like Muscat where most motorists drive with their air-conditioners on, the ambulance siren is unlikely to be heard.

Lights and sirens can only been seen and heard in the immediate area with sound insulation preventing any siren from being heard beyond the next car or two. Research has shown sirens can only be heard 8 to 12 metres from the emergency vehicle at intersections and only 2 metres from the emergency vehicle on an expressway.

The effective range of sirens is 8 to 12 metres at urban intersections and 2 metres when travelling at 100km per hour. This gives a warning time of under 5 seconds which is not enough for drivers to safely move out of the way, according to the company which exhibited its product at the recent Traffic Expo.

Radiolert Mobile FM80 of Emergency Warning Systems can be heard from 200 metres away from the emergency vehicle, according to an official of the company which is bringing the system to the Sultanate.

This is an FM radio over-broadcast system which allows the emergency vehicle personnel to inform and instruct the surrounding drivers of the best course of action through their own FM radio receiver, the official said.

By communicating clear spoken instructions to drivers, they will know when and how to respond, thus reducing response times and the risk of accidents occurring to emergency personnel, vehicles and the public at large.

Lights and sirens increase the risk of being involved in a serious crash and decrease emergency response time by only 2 to 5 minutes.

Sirens create hazardous noise levels of 120 decibels and more. Regular exposure to this noise level for over a minute has the risk of permanent hearing loss.

The Radiolert Mobile FM80 provides a safer and more effective solution than sirens and can reach more drivers further ahead, claims the Melbourne-based company, whose product is being brought to the Sultanate by Al Madina Development and Supply.

Bimal Shivaji | Oman Tribune



Warning system is alert to opportunity


AN EMERGENCY alert system designed and made in Melbourne is winning international interest.

In pre-production with the first of what is planned to be a suite of products,

Emergency Warning Systems has inked a deal to supply 66 mobile units to Jakarta police.

The mobile alarm system will be carried by emergency vehicles and broadcasts a signal that overrides FM radio stations, telling road users to pull over and let emergency vehicles pass.

The signal transmits in an elliptical pattern so that vehicles up to 200m in front and behind of the emergency vehicle are able to hear it, as well as 50m to 60m to the side.

Emergency Warning Systems chief Hugh Mackay said interest in the homegrown invention was huge.

He said the unit would reduce accidents and ensure patients and emergency response vehicles arrived at their destinations as quickly and as safely as possible.

The ability to override FM stations helps overcome situations such as drivers in heavily insulated modern cars failing to hear sirens over loud music.

“In the countries where FM radios cover 95 per cent or more, such as Southeast Asia, Japan, China, Korea, the Middle East and all of Africa, it has huge potential,” Mr Mackay said.

Mr Mackay, who is a major shareholder and became company head in July last year, said Jakarta police had been keen on earlier prototypes but wanted the unit to be compact and able to over-broadcast more stations.

“At the moment we expect the units to arrive in Jakarta next March,” he said.

The current model is 20cm by 20cm and 15cm high.

It can broadcast over as many as 24 FM channels.

Mr Mackay said in Jakarta up to 96 per cent of radio transmission was on the FM band.

Manilla police, ambulance and fire departments have also shown interest, pending further testing. There has also been interest in the United Arab Emirates from police in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“We have (also) done demonstrations at a private ambulance service in Johannesburg,” Mr Mackay said. “The private ambulance service love it and want to test a product. If they are happy they will order.”

The invention was prompted by concerns about the delays faced by ambulances transporting sick patients to hospital.

It has taken 10 years to get this far and, under Mr Mackay’s direction, the business has decided to focus on getting the mobile unit to market before developing other products.

Mr Mackay said there were 78 shareholders in the company, which is based at Mont Albert, in Melbourne’s east. It is about to launch a capital raising program to raise $2 million.

Mr Mackay said an initial public offering was being considered for 2018.

As for the Australian market, where an estimated 60 per cent to 65 per cent of radio is transmitted on the FM band, there were regulations to work through, he said.

“We are currently working through the regulatory approval process which will take some time,” Mr Mackay said. The same goes for the lucrative US market.

He said the company’s second product — units that would be stationed in a fixed location — were eagerly anticipated.

Mr Mackay said he could see a time when townships such as Marysville and Kinglake had such units, which would be able to make announcements heard up to 3km away.

Former Victorian Emergency Services commissioner Bruce Esplin is a board member of Emergency Warning Systems and is enthusiastic about the potential for the products.

“Bruce always says ‘I am here because the fixed unit would help to save lives’,” Mr Mackay said.

He said the rollout of the devices would be accompanied by an education program.

A trial in Jakarta showed people who weren’t listening to FM radio stations observed other people pulling over and followed them.

Emergency Warning Systems has done a deal for the units to be manufactured in Melbourne by Bosch, in Clayton South.

Claire Heaney Herald Sun



Radio warning is tuned into traffic

Border Mail

Radio warning is tuned into traffic

An emergency warning system that ‘breaks in’ to radio broadcasts has been used by police in the Morwell area to advise motorists of traffic delays and road safety issues.

Incident Controller Superintendent, Geoff Newby said police used the emergency warning system to communicate traffic delays and road safety messages to motorists travelling through Morwell during the Easter weekend.

Superintendent Newby said the Princes Freeway was closed in both directions at Morwell following some land movement in early February.

He said traffic was diverted in both directions along Princes Drive through the township of Morwell and the emergency warning system delivered ‘break in’ messages via FM radio frequencies through car radios to motorists.

Superintendent Newby said the messages gave motorists details on expected delays and traffic conditions so they could chose to proceed along the freeway and Princes Drive or take an alternative route.

He said police were very fortunate to have the technology at their disposal over the Easter weekend and hoped it delivered an extra level of information to motorists travelling through the area.

He said the emergency warning system was complemented by variable message sign boards on the freeway.

Superintendent Newby said the sign boards reinforced road safety messages that encouraged drivers to avoid changing lanes and to leave a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them.

Emergency warning scheme offers ‘advantage’


People in Victorian communities with poor communications services could soon get specialised emergency warnings over their radios, after a trial of new technology at Eldorado, near Wangaratta.

Results from the testing on Friday showed emergency services were able to override existing radio frequencies to broadcast targeted warnings to people in the town.

Eldorado was chosen for the trial because its terrain creates communication problems.

Victoria’s Fire Services Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, says if further testing is successful, localised warnings could be broadcast into isolated communities within two years.

“It’s really important that we have emergency warning systems in the state,” he said.

“It’s not just one method, it’s many methods and obviously the emergency warning system that we trialled on Friday afternoon is one of those, we think, will add advantage to make sure we can get information to community members.

“They wouldn’t be for general information. They would only be used for the highest level of risk to people and that’s when an incident is out of control either … a fire or flood or even a motor vehicle accident or hazardous materials incident.”

Test passed but fire warning is not ready

Border Mail

An emergency message that can override radio frequencies has been tried at Eldorado in an Australian first.

On Friday night authorities tested the system on a dummy radio station set up for the trial, with the community and local emergency services the guinea pigs in the mock emergency.

The test covered a 10-kilometre radius around a prototype repeater that was then scaled back to a target area of just five kilometres.

The aim is to deliver messages to locals and visitors in remote areas and in communication black spots.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said yesterday it was the first time the technology, that is used in Melbourne’s Burnley Tunnel, had been used in the open.

But it was yet to be costed and would not be available this summer.

“The trial in a technology sense was a success, the feedback from the community excellent,” he said.

“We had people who were on the road, mobile, and others in the community listening to a radio.

“But it won’t be rolled out this summer — we have some work to do and it needs to be approved by the federal government.”

Emergency warnings are already broadcast on a range of channels including Victoria’s emergency broadcasters, the CFA and SES websites, fire and flood information lines and the telephone-based Emergency Alert.

Mr Lapsley said the Emergency Warning Systems Frequency Override trial was conducted at Eldorado in recognition of its lack of mobile phone coverage and potential bushfire risk.

“This is one of the solutions,” he said.

“We can’t rely on just one form of delivery in an emergency, we need to get systems that can overcome some of these difficult locations.

“But I don’t believe you will see us get blanket coverage across the state for an intrusive system like this.

“We will have to show how we would use this in a targeted way, and where we would use it.

“It may mean that we focus on critical locations — whether that is an area that doesn’t have mobile phone coverage or at greater risk of bushfire.”



Mock emergency warnings to be trialled in Eldorado


Map: Eldorado 3746

Technology that can override radio frequencies to broadcast emergency warnings will be trialled in the north-east Victorian town of Eldorado today.

Residents within a 10 kilometre radius of Eldorado will be asked to tune into an unused radio frequency where mock emergency warnings will be broadcast from 5:00pm (AEDT).

They will be asked to give feedback on the broadcast.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley says Eldorado was chosen as the trial site because it is in a geographically isolated high fire risk area that is not well connected to telecommunications.

“The community understand that they’ve got an isolated area, they don’t have mobile phone coverage in the valley to the extent that we can use our SMS messaging system,” he said.

“If this is a successful trial this will give us an opportunity to look at this as an option.”

He says today’s mock emergency will be based on a bushfire scenario but if successful the system could be used in other emergencies.

“Although it’s fire focused this could be, if successful, used for not only fire,” he said.

“It could be used for flood and other examples, so it shouldn’t be seen just as a fire tool but we certainly use Eldorado in a fire footprint, so the Eldorado community, the Eldorado CFA [Country Fire Authority] have been fundamental in ensuring that we can go up and trial this.”

Meanwhile, Victoria’s new text message emergency warning system will be tested in the town of Yea in the Murrindindi Shire this weekend.

A location-based warning system was a recommendation of the Bushfires Royal Commission.

The technology used will send text messages to people based on their location rather than their billing address.


Emergency warning system to be used to update Morwell motorists

Police will use an emergency warning system to communicate traffic delays and road safety messages to motorists travelling through Morwell over the Easter weekend.

The Princes Freeway is closed in both directions at Morwell following some land movement in early February. Traffic is being diverted in both directions along Princes Drive through the township of Morwell.

The emergency warning system will deliver ‘break in’ messages via FM radio frequencies through car radios to motorists on the Princes Freeway leading into Morwell.

Incident Controller Superintendent Geoff Newby said this is the first time that this type of system has been used in this way.

“We’re very fortunate to have this technology at our disposal over the Easter weekend and hope it will deliver that extra level of information to motorists travelling through the area,” Supt Newby said.

“The messages will give motorists details on expected delays and traffic conditions so they can chose if they wish to proceed along the freeway and Princes Drive or take an alternative route.

“They will also reinforce road safety messages encouraging drivers to avoid changing lanes and to leave a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them.”

The emergency warning system will be complemented by variable message sign boards on the freeway.

Motorists are urged to take extreme care when travelling through Morwell and the surrounding areas and allow extra travel time.

For further information on the Morwell land movement and Princes Freeway closure:

Cath Allen
Victoria Police Media Unit

EWS used at Princes Freeway, Morwell bypass

Letter from Geoff Newby, Superintendent

Hi folks,

This is my last newsletter as the Incident Controller. Superintendent Tess Walsh of Morwell has resumed her position after her leave and as we have Easter behind us I have handed over the reins. I have appreciated Tess’ assistance over the past three weeks with all matters regarding the land movement event and she is now fully briefed on all issues.

I am happy to report that International Power Hazelwood has completed the horizontal drain holes at the base of the mine as per the original plan. They are about to commence drilling additional holes with a further 10 to the east and 15 to the west of the original area. The drilling crews are running continuously to finalise this stage of the plan, which has already been shown to be most effective.

The firm GHD has produced a second version of the proposed solution for the main drainage problem. This has been sent to VicRoads, Latrobe Council and the mine for comment. It is hoped that this will be finalised soon and then the specifications provided. This is a critical part of the mitigation strategy which will ensure the water flowing from the Morwell township is conveyed well away from the area of concern.

Much has also been happening behind the scenes. The Chairman of the Technical Review Board, Professor Tim Sullivan, is constantly receiving and analysing data provided regularly by VicRoads and the mine. He is meeting with technical experts from Latrobe Council, the mine and VicRoads to discuss the long-term modelling for the stability of the area of concern. This, together with the main drain solution, will form the basis of action to be undertaken to ensure the area is stabilised sufficiently to downgrade the state of concern. We can then look towards reopening the freeway.

The Emergency Management Team members, together with their technical experts, will meet later this month to workshop the entire event and discuss mitigation strategies from a risk assessment perspective. This exercise will clearly identify the risks in all aspects for planned activities and future management of this event. It will also allow more detailed planning for those risks.

I am most pleased to report on the Easter Traffic Plan. Many thousands of people travelled to Gippsland on their Easter break and most travelled through Morwell. I suspect we were helped by having the school holiday period prior to the Easter break and perhaps many had earlier travelled to Gippsland, but the traffic plan paid off.

Good Friday was particularly hectic for traffic between 11.30 am and around 3 pm, with police manually directing traffic along Princes Drive at Jane, Church and McDonald Streets.

The Emergency Warning System (breaking in over your radio) was used for the first time in rural Victoria with success during this time. The message delivered was one advising the travelling public that there were delays and conveying safety messages.

The return trip on Tuesday was not quite as bad, but took longer with traffic delays being seen from around 11.30 am through to around 5.30 pm. Manual traffic direction was required intermittently to assist traffic flow. The success of this was due to the temporary closure of Commercial Road at Jane Street, which allowed a continuous flow of traffic from Princes Drive.

I thank local residents for their cooperation and understanding and I am sure they could see the benefit of this temporary closure. I am hopeful it did not cause too much disruption and inconvenience to them.

As a Gippslander, I will of course be watching with interest the situation’s progress as we move closer to the stabilisation of the area and the reopening of the Freeway. I thank you for you patience during my time as Incident Controller. I enjoyed the experience of returning to the Valley and again working with former colleagues. I wish you all the best.

Yours sincerely

Geoff Newby



Emirates Today

‘Emirates Today’ released a statement headlining the GIT distributed “Emergency Frequency System” (EWS) as an integral part of Dubai’s Center of Ambulance services. The EWS system will be planted onto each ambulance car, warning transporters of the upcoming dangers ahead in order to make way in an efficient and timely manner.

Ambulance Director Khalifa Bin Drai commends and congratulates the success of this system pointing out its ability to reduce both traffic and time taken to reach injured parties. In addition to that, he includes, in the case of an emergency, this system ensures the safety of drivers and warns them to make way or take a different road by simply tapping into their radio channels.

This warning system, he adds, will be able to transmit simple warning messages no matter what radio channel the public driver is listening to and will be able to send those traffic warning messages while the radio is turned off or even if the driver is listening to a CD. Finally, he explains that the system has already been tested for two weeks on an ambulance vehicle as an initial testing stage and will be implemented within all ambulance vehicles in the near future.

Emirates Today

Dubai. “Emirates Today”, the arabic news paper, and “TIMES” magazine both commended the Australian based Global Frequency Warning technology for its great impact in aiding the Civil Defence with doing their jobs and for its ability to save lives in emergency situations.

According to Emirates Today, The Emergency Warning system will be an integral part of a total smart alarm system which is said to make the jobs of Civil Defence workers 80% more efficient. Civil Defence General Manager, Liwa Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, announced that the Emergency warning system will be implemented for the first time in Dubai and worldwide in all emergency vehicles in order to inform public drivers through their radio channels to make way. He also explained that this emergency system has been accepted and applied to all FM channels.