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By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, July 1: Sarawak’s Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) is currently ranked first in engaging the public for Bomba Komuniti, compared to other states.
To date, they have registered the highest number at 504 teams comprising 4,971 members.
The department’s continuous effort in educating the community and fostering closer relationships is regarded as a success.
In 2015, the department registered only three teams with 30 participants, but the numbers ballooned to 313 teams with 3,044 participants in 2016. By the end of 2017, another 114 teams with 1,043 participants were added to the list.
Bomba director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, who expressed pride over the state department’s achievement, said Bomba Sarawak is one of the most active when it comes to community programmes compared to other states.
Speaking at the Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri and Ngiling Bidai celebration yesterday, Hamdan said Bomba has been aggressively moving on the ground with its ‘Community Outreach Programme’, including Bomba Komuniti, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Children Fire Safety Club (Kelab 3K) and many more.
“This is one of the methods with which communities can be empowered to act first during fires while waiting for Bomba to arrive so that fires can be put out faster. Apart from establishing a direct connection between the department and the community, we also conduct firefighting exercises, knowledge-sharing and training in preparation of emergency situations,” he said.
There also has been an increase in terms of awareness on how to put out a fire in the early stages of an outbreak, which is why the department strongly urged every community to set up its own Bomba Komuniti group in their respective areas.
“It is important for each and everyone to learn how to deal with emergency situations, such as fire pending the arrival of firefighters, as it could help minimise potential losses,” Hamdan said adding that at the same time, members also act to educate their families on fire safety issues.
With their open-door policy, state Bomba director Khirudin Drahman said they aimed to break down barriers and improve public perception of firefighters and rescue personnel by reaching out to the community.
“With our people-centric approach in the programme, we are able to provide interactive experiences and engagement with the community so that they will gain a better idea of the main duties of firefighters. Community programmes are also one of the best options for ‘fire point’, where their presence would help the community prepare and study for the Incident Action Plan (IAP),” he added.
In the event of fires in remote areas especially those far from the nearest fire station, the department will quickly direct Bomba Komuniti 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 such as providing basic Respiratory Remedial Treatment (CPR) assistance and the proper way to lift a victim.
Meanwhile, it was revealed Bomba Sarawak attended to 5,749 rescue calls, 2,328 calls involving fire incidents, 7,283 special service calls and 16 fake calls.
As of June 30, this year, they have attended to 2,904 rescue calls, 1,504 fire incident, 124 special service calls and six fake calls. — DayakDaily