Civil Defense in Aleppo: Lifegivers From Under the Rubble

The ambulance system continues to work in a city that has been described as "the most dangerous in the world"

Mohammed remembers well the incident which claimed the lives of three of his colleagues and led to his injury.

 

"A barrel fell on Alhaidariya neighborhood a few minutes after we arrived to the place which which was earlier bombed, to save what could be saved. I couldn’t work for 45 days afterwards," he recalls.

 

A volunteer in the Civil Defense team in Aleppo, Mohammed Majid Faraj didn’t complain about his injury, nor the pain he suffered from it. He is more concerned with his inability to work, as through his work, he offers a chance for a new life for others – as he did when he pulled a 5-year-old girl from the rubble of her home in al-Muyassar neighborhood.

 

This ambulance system continues to work in a city that has been described as "the most dangerous in the world". The efficiency of the group's work certainly does not correspond with the resources and equipment used under the daily bombardment conditions, and the destruction and fires caused by missiles and rockets.

 

Director of Civil Defense Center of Aleppo, Mohammed Salmo, believes that the work of this group in the time of war is very tiring, and needs much effort from the volunteers who are distributed in the city to face the repercussions of the daily bombardment.

 

"The lack of centers, light and heavy vehicles and bulldozers is one of the biggest obstacles that face the work of the Civil Defense teams in Aleppo," says Salmo.

 

"There are vehicles which need maintenance, but the lack of funding for this maintenance keeps them out of service, moreover, the interference of some institutions in the work of the Civil Defense and the difficulties faced by the administration in bringing the equipment from Turkey hinder the work of these teams," he says.

 

Mahmoud al-Hassan, a volunteer at the fire brigade and Civil Defense in Aleppo, describes suffering from a chest infection due to the inhalation of a lot of smoke and dust through his work. The 19-year-old recalls the 10 minutes he spent in a cellar with three of his comrades, during which they could only inhale the smoke of a burning house in the Bayada neighborhood in Aleppo, before their colleagues arrive to save them from certain death. Mahmoud considered the accident "the most difficult situation he has ever encountered since he started this work three months ago".

 

The Civil Defense team in Aleppo has already lost 17 martyrs, while the rest are waiting for earnest support that ensures the continuation of their work which has become an example of sacrifice in order to survive life under the rubble.

 

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

 

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