Invention by Simunjan ‘Cooltech’ team wins national recognition

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by Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Oct 6: They may be stationed at a rural fire station but that does not mean these firefighters cannot be creative or innovative.

When a group of firefighters calling themselves ‘Cooltech’ decided to unleash its creativity two years ago, every idea was carefully considered and teamwork put in to explore possibilities. All these efforts paid off when the team from Simunjan was declared the champion of the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Malaysia Innovative and Creative Convention 2019 in Putrajaya recently.

Years of experience in search and rescue (SAR) especially cases involving water gave these firefighters the idea to create a water rescue body bag (WRBB) which will not only ease their operations, but also reduce the dangers and risk face by them.

The ‘Cooltech’ team from Simunjan fire station was crowned as champion at the Bomba Malaysia Innovative and Creative Convention 2019 in Putrajaya recently.

Simunjan fire station chief Mat Undek said the WRBB is meant to lift a drowned victim from water, and can be used either in rivers or the sea.

“If it is an operation involving rivers, previously, rescue personnel had to go into the water to lift the victims. This is a dangerous method as they risk crocodile attacks. With this new concept of WRBB, they can easily lift a victim from their boat,” Mat said, adding that they can also avoid potential infection or other risky exposures.

“Not only does this WRBB save time and energy, it also protects our rescue personnel.”

When asked how long does it take to produce one bag, Mat said if they have all the materials, it can be done within two weeks.

Each bag costs about RM750 to produce.

So far, they have produced 10 units for Sarawak Bomba which were distributed to eight fire stations statewide.

The water rescue body bag created by the ‘Cooltech’ team from Simunjan fire station.

Commenting on the Simunjan Bomba team and their persistent efforts which led to their recent milestone victory, Bomba state director Khirudin Drahman said firefighters have to learn to be creative and open-minded when it comes to keeping up with the ever-changing world around them.

“Not just the firefighters but their leaders must find ways to justify the need for the protection of the fire department. Innovation is when someone takes an idea that already exists and creates a different version. This can be anything from complex machinery to simple everyday objects. This list of innovative ideas help improve everyday life,” Khirudin said.

The ‘Cooltech’ team also won the top prize at last year’s Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg Innovation Awards under the Federal Agencies category. — DayakDaily