March 1st marked World Civil Defense Day. The idea of civil defense originated in 1941 when civilians began partaking in wide-scale efforts to rescue their fellow countrymen from under the rubble of the World War. Recognizing the need for a wider defense organization, the UN General Assembly established in 1990 what is known as the International Civil Defense Organization (ICDO).
"The Civil Defense General Directory celebrate World Civil Defense Day."
Over the years, Lebanon has seen its (un)fair share of wars and natural disasters. Luckily, our civil defense society was always quick to the rescue. In every event of accident and disaster, we have found a sturdy shoulder to lean on in these valiant men and women.
In their month, we thought to give Lebanon Civil Defense's workers and volunteers some overdue appreciation. To be honest, it would be futile to list all the times these heroes saved the day.
With mounting rescue operations and countless crises evaded, we thought to ask you instead: How much do you really know about the Lebanese Civil Defense?
#1 The Lebanese Civil Defense was established in 1945.
Since 1945 and for over 70 years now, our Civil Defense's workers have been saving lives and preventing catastrophes.
#2 There are 208 centers spread over Lebanon's 8 districts.
The largest portion of that number is based in Mount Lebanon with 73 main quarters.
The second largest portion is spread over 30 centers in the North of Lebanon. The heroic youth of the North take up 14.42% of our national civil defense.
Third place goes to Akkar with 22 centers and counts roughly 11% of our civil defense.
"Putting out bush fires in Tino, Halba, Akkar.."
Then comes Baalback, El-Hermel, with 21 centers, forming 10% of all Civil Defense centers.
Tied at fifth place with about 10%, the Bekaa and Nabatieh governorates each have 20 centers.
Second to last, South Lebanon has 17 centers. Finally, Beirut concludes the list with the least number of Civil Defense stations, 5, and a reasonable percentage relative to its size.
#3 You can join as a member or as a volunteer.
That means some of these brave heroes are volunteers. They are serving the nation and risking their lives with no financial pay in return!
#4 Being local has its advantages.
The Civil Defense often collaborates with the Lebanese army. In many search-and-rescue ops, local Civil Defense's officers work closely with our armed forces, offering valuable insight and expertise on the topography.
#5 The Civil Defense has many duties.
On their online manifesto, the Civil Defense's society has a list of 9 responsibilities, including, but-not-limited-to, providing emergency first aid, evacuating civilians in the events of crises, enforcing public safety, and putting out fires.
#6 Basically, they are superheroes.
Officers undergo extensive training to become active members. They are well-equipped to handle all situations and terrains. On land, by sea, or in the air, the civil defense can weather the weather!
#7 They are on-call and readily available for emergencies 24/7.
For any emergency, you can call their hotline at 125 from any location in Lebanon.
To our Civil Defense people out there, thank you for all that you do. Nothing we say or do can repay the risks you take and the sacrifices you make for our safety.