By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Oct 14: The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Malaysia will continue to pursue for a permanent Bomba academy to be set up in Kota Samarahan under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
Bomba Malaysia director-general Datuk Mohd Hamdan Wahid informed that the government has approved other projects including the new Bomba Sabah Academy which was estimated to cost RM50 million as well as the extension of Bomba Wakaf Tapai Academy in Terengganu at RM45 million.
“Despite the persistent challenges, I believe the proposed construction of a permanent academy on a 20-acre land in Kota Samarahan will eventually come about,” he said at the launching of Borneo Fire and Rescue Zone Chief and Station Chief Enhancement programme today.
He revealed that the construction at Bomba Wakaf Tapai Academy is expected to begin this year which would feature a Water Rescue Operations Centre.
“This is very much needed to train and improve our firefighters’ skills and capabilities in handling water rescue operations,” he said.
Seventy officers from Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak, consisting of fire zone chiefs and fire station chiefs attended the five-day programme.
Hamdan emphasised that the role of the Pasukan Penyelamat Dalam Air (PPDA), also known as Water Rescue Unit, was to deal with incidents and emergencies that occur in the water.
“With this centre, operational training will be based on challenging real-life simulations. The facility will not only be accessible to Bomba, but it will also be opened to other agencies,” he said.
On Mountain Search and Rescue (Mosar), he added that the Department will set up a team in Kuala Tahan, Pahang to handle emergency cases in the forest areas.
“Similar to the one set up for Mount Kinabalu (in Sabah), we appoint experience mountain guides as volunteer firefighters because they are familiar with the area,” he explained.
“This Mosar team will act according to the rescue response and provide assistance in terms of logistics and medical aid,” he pointed out.
Hamdan highlighted that these volunteers will be given allowance for assisting and facilitating Bomba in carrying out search and rescue (SAR) operations.
“The Mosar service would also be extended to other states, including Sarawak, which had numerous SAR cases especially at Mount Mulu,” he added.
Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman and assistant director of operations Tiong Ling Hii were among those present.— DayakDaily