30 Bau villages join front line firefighting efforts

From left: Fire and Rescue Academy Malaysia (Sarawak) commandant Sabarudin Mohamad, Assistant Director of Fire and Safety Mohamad Fauzi Mohamat Kifli, Khirudin, MFPA president Michelle Hah Mei Kian and Sarawak Bomba Head of Zone 1 Henderi Ardimanshah in a photo-op with a young participant at the launch of Bomba Community Bau 2019.

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BAU, Nov 16: Thirty villages from the community here are now part of the state Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) community fire team programme.

The participants comprise 300 villagers including longhouse and village chiefs from six majority Bidayuh areas, namely Krokong, Serumbu, Jagai, Bau, Singgai and Bratak.

The Bomba Community programme is one of the methods which empowers communities to act first especially during fire incidents, while waiting for firefighters to arrive, so that the situation can be brought under control immediately.

Speaking at the launch of the Bomba Community Bau 2019 programme at the department’s academy today, Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman said it is important for all to learn how to deal with fire emergency situations as it could help minimise potential losses.

“In the event of fire in remote areas or those places which are far from the nearest fire station, the department will quickly direct Bomba Community or voluntary fire personnel (PBS) to act first as these groups will be trained on how to deal with fire hazards as well as emergencies,” he said.

Citing a recent success case, Khirudin said a longhouse fire at Long Ikam in Baram on July 26 was successfully extinguished by its own residents using nine units of fire extinguishers.

“Although the fire only involved four ‘doors’, if it wasn’t for this Bomba Community group, the whole 74-door longhouse would have been completely razed to ashes, leaving at least 1,000 people homeless,” Khirudin added.

Members of Bomba Community are trained to take proactive action such as facilitating building evacuation procedures, how to use fire extinguishers, and identify fire equipment and practical uses, as they are the first respondents.

“Therefore, these groups play an important role in delivering fire safety and prevention knowledge to their fellow villagers, as well as establishing direct links between firefighters and communities,” he asserted.

Group photo of Bomba Community members (in red shirts) from Krokong, Serumbu, Jagai, Bau, Singgai and Bratak, and others at the event in Bau.

The two-day programme was filled with various activities including theory and practical classes on basic fire safety. Participants were also given firsthand experience of handling fire emergencies by wearing actual fire suits and extinguishing fires in simulations.

Khirudin also thanked Malaysian Fire Protection Association (MFPA) for being the strategic partner and other corporate bodies such as Unique Fire Industry Sdn Bhd, Fire Fighter Industry Sdn Bhd, Steel Recon Eversafe Extinguisher Sdn Bhd, Eversafe Extinguisher and Kenbest Sdn Bhd who have been lending a hand by donating fire extinguishers as part of their corporate social responsibilities. — DayakDaily