Bomba Sarawak looking to boost K9 Unit expertise with trained dogs specialising in urban search and rescue

Khirudin fielding questions from members of the press at Serian Bomba Station on Jan 4, 2023.

By Karen Bong

SERIAN, Jan 4: Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak aims to equip its K9 Unit with an additional specialisation in urban disaster search and rescue so as to enhance the department’s readiness in serving the community here more effectively.

Bomba Sarawak director Datu Khirudin Drahman said with the passing of its tracker dog Cliff, which specialised in cadaver or corpse detection, the current K9 Unit comprises five four-legged officers with two trained for forensic purposes, two for wilderness operations and one remaining cadaver detector.

“Canines play a significant role in enhancing the efficiency of search and rescue (SAR) operations as their unique capabilities are undeniable assets.

“We will put in efforts to completing all the disciplines within the K9 Unit to elevate Bomba’s services for the community in Sarawak. This is to enhance our preparation for unpredictable and unknown challenges ahead. Sarawak needs canines due to its challenging geographical areas with huge forests and rivers,” he told reporters after paying tribute to Cliff in a private funeral ceremony at the Bomba Serian Station here today.

With the Federal government approving RM12 million to enhance the K9 Unit and training in various enforcement agencies including Bomba, Khirudin pointed out that it was also time for the replacement of many aged and retiring canines.

“We will request for canines specialising in urban disaster scenarios to be better prepared for incidents involving collapsed buildings or landslides, such as the incident in Genting Highland.

Khirudin stressed the time-sensitive nature of operations, where every second is crucial for saving lives or recovering bodies.

“The canine plays an important role in swiftly detecting victims, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of SAR operations and facilitating the timely transportation of surviving victims to health facilities for treatment,” he added. — DayakDaily