`Fire happens because of our own carelessness’

Khirudin (7th left) with Serian fire station chief James Gani and the Bidayuh maidens at the Bomba Komuniti closing ceremony in Kampung Dyiang Ipuh.

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By Nancy Nais

SERIAN, June 22: Fire fighting is always a losing battle, full stop.

Firm with his words, Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) director Khirudin Drahman said, “Take responsibility, stop pointing fingers or blame others when a fire disaster occurs.”

“Have you ever ask, why and how did a fire disaster occur? What was the root of it? Generally, no one in their right mind will invite fire to destroy their properties or kill lives (except those with criminal intention).

“Fire happens because of our own carelessness,” he said to a group of about 300 villagers at the Bomba Komuniti closing ceremony in Kampung Dyiang Ipuh yesterday.

Khirudin Drahman at Bomba Komuniti closing ceremony in Kampung Dyiang Ipuh.
Bomba Komuniti participants from 15 villages in Serian in a group photo with firefighters.

The 3L syndrome of ‘Lupa, Leka dan Lalai’, which refers to forgetfulness, carelessness and negligent attitudes of the public, is among the major contributors to fires incidences.

The three-day Bomba Komuniti program was tailored to raise awareness and teach the people from 15 villages how to prevent and douse fires in the early stages of an outbreak.

Jointly organised by Bomba Serian and N22 Kedup service centre, Khirudin reminded those present that fire fighting is always a losing battle.

Another example he gave is the mindset of most people. They rather spend a few thousand ringgit to buy a huge LCD television but are very reluctant to purchase a fire extinguisher (less than RM200) for their homes.

“Can your television help to put out a fire that started small? It is this kind of ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude that all of us must change. If you keep practising this 3L, you are inviting and waiting for disaster to happen.

“In the end, regret will sip in, but it is too late. Therefore, I would like to remind everyone, again and again, to change, improve supervision, prevent and protect yourself, your family and your property,” he said.

Stressing that fire prevention is a joint responsibility and not just that of the fire department, Khirudin reminded the community not to depend on Bomba alone.

Whether living in urban or rural areas, he said everyone must be aware of the need to prevent tragedies from happening.

“Bomba is unable to do this on our own. We need the help and cooperation from all, including those villages in the rural areas that are far flung from the nearest fire station. This is why we establish Bomba Komuniti, or volunteer firefighting team, which is for the same reason,” he said.

Pledging the department’s commitment to continuously hold fire safety programmes for as many communities as they could, Khirudin urged as many communities as possible to come forward and set up their own Bomba komuniti in their respective areas. — DayakDaily