By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, May 29: The presence of 45 new auxiliary firefighters (PBB) at 10 fire stations statewide will further strengthen the deployment of Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) personnel in Sarawak.
Bomba state director Khirudin Drahman said the appointment of these PBB is aimed at accommodating the shortages of firefighters especially in fire stations in rural areas.
Among the 10 fire stations which will take the PBB are Asajaya (15), Daro (15), Tanjung Manis (4) Marudi (3), Samalaju (3) and one each at Bintangor, Song, Sri Aman, Saratok and Limbang.
The training was held at Bomba headquarters in Tabuan Jaya. Starting on May 19, the trainees were exposed to activities and various skills in the form of theory and practice including operation drills, fire fighting and fire safety aspects throughout the 10 days.
With the addition auxiliary firefighters, Bomba Sarawak now have 216 personnel.
“We are strengthening our current manpower of about 1,300 full time personnel by training more auxiliary firefighters. Currently we have 171 PBB, which is definitely not enough to cover Sarawak,” Khiruddin said at the commissioning of auxiliary firefighters certification series 1/2019 ceremony today.
As Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia, with wide geographical hindrance, he explained that based on its present strength, the department will not be able to provide the best service to the people, more so with the state’s geographical peculiarities.
With these extra PBB, Khirudin added that Bomba Sarawak will be able to reach out to far-flung places in the state and provide better services to the various communities.
The increase in population and building premises in the state due to steady development and progress has also witnessed an increase in risk hazards.
“This has resulted in the effectiveness in terms of our “response time” (being affected), where our team members are unable to reach the destination fast enough due to the (present) numbers of fire stations and firefighters. Yet, our society has high expectation of us to provide fast response,” he said.
Sarawak currently has 32 fire stations.
Advising all the new PBB earlier today, Khirudin said “I have high hopes that all of you can contribute your best service and full devotion to the department. Use this opportunity to learn from senior and experienced firefighters so we can provide efficient service for the community.”
He emphasised to the trainees the need to have strong discipline, and good mental and physical condition.
“I would like to remind all of you that you are now part of the civil service, subject to existing law, rules and regulations. So keep the good behaviour, regardless if you’re on or off duty,” Khirudin said.
He also called on the public, especially the young people from various races to join the department as PBB.
Auxiliary firefighters are protected under Section 5(1) and (2) of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 1988 (Act 341) and will receive allowances from the government. They are also protected by insurance paid by the Malaysian government
Also present at the ceremony were state Bomba acting deputy director and head of operations Tiong Ling Hii, Commander of the Sarawak Region Fire and Rescue Academy Sabarudin Mohamad, Bomba zone 1 chief Henderi Ardimanshah and other senior officers. — DayakDaily