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​The concept of civil defense

Civil defense in Saudi Arabia as it is known by the civil defense system released by Royal Decree NO. M/10 on 05-10-1406, correspond=ding to 20-01-1986 is a set of measures and actions necessary for protecting the citizens, public and private properties from fire hazards, disasters, wars, and different accidents plus helping devastated people, providing the safety of transportations, communications, and the best organizing in public utilities in addition to the protection of national wealth during the times of war, peace, and emergency situations.

Historical Background

The first fire brigade was established in Mecca in 1346 H in 1926 AD. This group joined General Security Service and was called the presidency of all the firefighters. On 15/07/1963 H 23/05/1948, a fire brigade has been established in Medina as well as in Riyadh and Jeddah. In 1380 H in 1960 the fire brigade was separated from the General Security and was given the name of General Directorate of the fire fighting and was directly related to the Interior Ministry. In 24/03/1985H 22/07/1965 a Royal Decision No. 6358 was taken to change the name of the General Directorate of Civil Defense.

The work of the civil defense during peacetime

  • Providing relief to the affected people in emergency situations.
  • Training the volunteers to carry out the acts of civil defense.
  • Organizing the rules and the means of industrial safety and security.
  • Fire fighting, fire extinguisher, rescue, and ambulance.
  • Establishing operating rooms, centers for civil defense and identifying the necessary specifications and supervisions of the shelters to protect the population.
  • Creating and preparing the civil defense formations of different majors and processing them with the necessary equipment and means.
  • Storage of various materials and equipment necessary to sustain life in war emergencies and disastrous situations.
  • The preparation and implementation of the necessary actions that aim to achieve safety and to avoid disasters and remove its effects in addition to providing cash subsidy.
  • Use the media to achieve the objectives of civil defense.
  • Implementation of the plans of evacuation and accommodation in emergency cases.

The work of civil defense during wartime

  • Organizing the rules and the means of warning concerning dangers and air raids.
  • Prevention of air raids and the effects of destructive weapons.
  • Restrictions on lighting.
  • Restrictions on traffic.

Civil Defense in Saudi Arabia consists of

  • Civil defense council.
  • Preparatory Committee of the council of civil defense.
  • Local committees on civil defense.
  • General Directorate of civil defense.

First: Council of civil defense

Position Roles
Chairman His Royal Highness the Interior Minister
Member and Vice President His Royal Highness the Deputy of the Interior Minister
Member His Royal Highness the Assistant Chief Deputy of the National Guard for Military Affairs
Member His Royal Highness the Assistant of the Interior Minister for Security Affairs
Member His Excellency the Minister of Water & Electricity
Member His Excellency the Minister of Trade and Industry
Member His Excellency the Minister of Finance
Member His Excellency the Minister of Economy and Planning
Member His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture
Member His Excellency the Minister of Transportation
Member His Excellency the Minister of Health
Member His Excellency the President of King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology
Member His Excellency the President of the General Staff
Member His Excellency the Director of Public Security
Member His Excellency the General Manager of Civil Defense
Member His Excellency the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Rural Affairs

The President of the civil defense also has the right to invite whom he sees he can ask aid to attend the meetings of the council without having the right to vote.

Functions of the council of the civil defense

Developing the general policy of the civil defense in addition to the necessary plans and projects and to keep on following as well as ie=identifying the functions and responsibilities of the government agencies and others that are implemented, and releasing the regulations of the civil defense system.

Second: the preparatory Committee of the Council of the Civil Defense

General Director of civil defense His Excellency / Saad Abdullah Tuwaijri
Corps Commander of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation The General Major Excellency / Mohammed Bin Ali Ahmed
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance Budget and Management His Excellency / Mr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Aldham
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy and Planning and Planning Assistant His Excellency / Dr. Adib Bin Adul Aziz Tahir
General Director of Emergency, Safety, and Transportation Care plan His Excellency / Dr. Tarek Bin Salem Arnos
General Director of Engineering Affairs, Ministry of the Agency for Technical Affairs His Excellency / Eng. Hamad Bin Ibrahim Al – Moajel
General Secretary of the Council of civil defense in charge His Excellency / Colonel Yahya Bin Ali Al Qahtani
Director of the Department of Safety and Environment, Ministry of Trade and Industry His Excellency / Eng. Ziyad Ahmed Bin Yahya

Civil Defense Committees

Position Roles
Chairman Emir of the region
Member Director of the local police
Member Commander of the National Guard region
Member Director of the roads in the area
Member Branch Manager of the Electrical and Industrial Ministry all over the region
Member Branch Manager of Municipal Affairs and Rural Area
Member Civil defense director of the area
Member Commander of the Military Zone
Member Branch Director of the Ministry of Finance in the region

Composed of the local civil defense committees at the district level One of its main majors the implementation of the provisions and rules of the civil defense system about the work of civil defense in the cities and villages, and which aims to protect the lives and properties of the population and the sources of national wealth in peace, disaster, emergency, and war situations.

Fourth: The General Directorate of Civil Defense

One of the security sectors related to the Interior Ministry is also associated with the Assistant of Interior Minister for Security Affairs.


  • Protecting both people, public and private properties in addition to the sources of national wealth from the dangers of disasters and war.
  • Establishing public safety in all activities that are considered to be necessary to life, industrial, agricultural, commercial, and residential.
  • Providing all the regions of the kingdom with different services concerning fires, rescue services, and ambulances.
  • Proposing of the plans, projects, and civil defense measures and follow-up implementation.
  • Implementing all that is related to its major concerning the plans, projects, civil defense procedures, in addition to the decisions issued by the council of civil defense and the Interior Minister and Head Council of the civil defense.
  • Setting the rules and means of safety in the industrial, agricultural, commercial, residential, and follow-up application in the sectors and government and civil institutions.
  • Inspection work for the business and residential and industrial, agricultural facilities to ensure the availability of procedures and required safety and risk control and intervention to avoid before they occur.
  • Quick intervention in incidents of fire to control and eradicate it before it develops.
  • Rapid interference in different cases of rescue as they occur under normal circumstances.
  • Take appropriate action to address the disaster according to the decision taken by the Prime Minister of the Interior and the Head Council of the civil defense to take advantage of the possibilities of military forces and others, and whatever it needs requiring the necessary people, tasks, and tools to assist them in performing their functions.
  • Preparing the rules of protection from disaster risks and preparing contingency plans.
  • Initial and rapid intervention in emergencies.
  • Coordinating and communicating with governmental sectors and other agencies responsible for the implementation of civil defense work in emergencies.
  • Organizing the intervention work in the disastrous areas and to save the injured and assist them.
  • Evacuating residents from the affected areas.
  • Removing the effects of the disaster in harmonization with the competent authorities.
  • Preparing emergency rooms.
  • Preparing and training the volunteers to be able to do the work of the civil defense.
  • Representing the Kingdom in the organizations, conferences, international, and domestic seminars and workshops for civil defense.
  • Proposing the agenda of the civil defense and preparing the necessary studies of these issues before the council.​