(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) It might look like a weapon, but it is actually SearchCam, a state-of-the-art search and rescue camera used by the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance's (PACDA) National Search and Rescue Team.
As part of its efforts to educate people on the nation's emergency preparedness, PACDA is exhibiting its equipment at Amerat Park.
Capt Saud Sultan Almamiri of PACDA, said, ''We have put on display several life- saving equipment to educate the masses and showcase our preparedness for any disaster. We chose to hold this event at the festival as it is attended by people from all over the country. We've had a lot of visitors, both young and old, enquiring about these equipment. Many have mistaken the SearchCam for a weapon. Many are also interested in knowing how these equipment function.''
Some of the most-enquired-about devices besides the SearchCam are the Delsar Life Detector and the hazmat (hazardous materials) suit.
Explaining their uses, Capt Almamiri said, ''The Delsar Life Detector is a two-sensor seismic listening device designed specifically to detect and locate live, trapped victims in rubble caused by earthquakes, explosions, landslides, mine disasters or construction cave-ins. The equipment transmits noises from trapped victims.''
He said that the SearchCam, too does a similar job. The articulating waterproof camera head with LED lighting pinpoints the victims' location so that rescuers can extract them. ''The SearchCam's on-screen graphics direct the rescue team to where and on how to begin the extraction. The two-way audio allows rescuers to communicate with victims. Rescuers can record video and voice, as well as take still photos of the search. It utilises a 240 articulating camera head with variable high output LED lighting to achieve effective visual search as close as a few inches to over 3m in total darkness. The cameras' reach can be easily extended.''
Hazmat provides protection from chemicals, biological agents and radioactive material. ''Such suits are mostly used by firefighters, researchers, personnel responding to toxic spills, specialists cleaning up contaminated facilities and workers in toxic environments,'' he said.
Capt Almamiri said that each of these equipment have been used in rescue and search operations in the country nearly four to five times. ''They have been used in Ibra and Sohar. Since Oman is an active participant of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group “ a network of countries and organisations dedicated to urban search and rescue - our men also help in missions outside the c