By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 23: An analysis report on fire problems, especially those involving longhouses, has been completed and presented to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and relevant agencies.
Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman informed that ‘Creating A Champion’ among local community leaders was one of the several resolutions proposed in the report that is aimed at reducing fire cases involving longhouses.
“The programme is intended at making community leaders become our ‘ambassadors’ of fire safety so that they can share the knowledge and teach the skills to the community under their watch,” he told a press conference after officiating at the Bomba Sarawak 2019 annual assembly at Bomba Tabuan Jaya here today.
“It has been shown that those who have been trained know how to take proper measures and use fire equipment to control a fire emergency, which usually start small. This can reduce the number of fire cases involving longhouses,” he said.
Secondly, Khirudin added that Bomba would start introducing the new concept of traditional longhouse with recommended fire safety features as approved by the state government.
“This architectural plan for longhouse has been successfully implemented in Rumah Collin Sait (situated about 40km from Miri city) and more importantly, the state government has received it positively. Longhouses intending to upgrade or rebuild are highly recommended to follow this plan,” he shared.
On Bomba’s response time, especially in the rural and remote areas, he explained that for emergencies more than 20km away, Bomba volunteers, auxiliary fire officers for Category D and E fire stations and community fire response teams under Petronas were encouraged to respond.
“This is a concerted effort involving the private sector and state government because we cannot work alone, and it will take time,” he said, adding that there are an estimated 4,900 longhouses scattered in the rural areas.
“We are always reactive, but I have often reminded that fire is blind; fire doesn’t see race as it can happen to anyone, including children, adults, poor or rich, due to forgetfulness, negligence and complacency,” he cautioned.— DayakDaily