Bomba looking to acquire new helicopters to aid fire, rescue operations

Uggah presenting the Minister’s Award for the overall best recruit to Abang Hassanal Fitri Suhaili, 26, from Sri Aman.

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By Nancy Nais

BAU, Nov 19: The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) is looking to acquire more helicopters to aid in fire and rescue work.

Its director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said assets such as helicopters or aircrafts were necessary to ensure smooth operations by the department.

“Apart from fire fighting, the increase in air assets will greatly add to the department’s ability in providing aid and perform rescue missions,” he told reporters after the graduation ceremony for new firefighters at the Fire and Rescue Academy Malaysia (Sarawak).

Hamdan addressing a press conference.

In response to the request of Sarawak deputy chief minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, for more helicopters to be based in the state, Hamdan agreed to the proposal, saying that it would make sense to have extra air assets in Sarawak due to its huge geographical area, vast land and scattered population.

“Of course, we can seek assistance from our fellow government agencies such as the Maritime, as they have fixed wing aircraft such as the Bombardier to conduct water bombing but it would be good if we have our own.

“We don’t have fixed wing aircraft. Only helicopters, which carries water using bucket, so water bombing operations can be slow,” he said.

Hamdan expressed hoped that the government will give due consideration to meet the department’s requirement, as there is the pressing need of dealing with the ever-increasing emergency situations day-to-day.

He added that it is time for the department change some of their older helicopters, which are more than 20 years old, as it is very expensive to maintain.

Group photo of 77 new firefighters.

Meanwhile, a total of 77 Sarawakians successfully completed their four months firefighting training at the academy, of which 41 will be sent to West Malaysia and 19 will be stationed at various areas in Sarawak. — DayakDaily