New Sarawak Bomba chief wants to fight fire with ‘education’

Khirudin inspecting his personnel during an assembly at the state Bomba headquarters in Kuching.

KUCHING, Oct 1: On his first day as the new Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) chief, Khirudin Drahman is already hard at work seeking solutions to deal with fire cases in the state.

He said one of the biggest challenges for the state Bomba was providing fire cover for a place as vast as Sarawak.

Building more Bomba stations, especially in the rural areas, was out of the question at the moment as it would need a huge budget to not only build the stations but also to provide firefighting equipment and train more personnel.

Instead, Khirudin, who is a Sarawakian, said out of the 4Es (Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Emergency response), he would be putting more effort on Education.

He explained that this meant inculcating more awareness among the local community in fire prevention while training them to deal with small initial fires in their community while waiting for firemen to arrive.

Khirudin (left) greeting state Bomba officers after a short assembly at the state headquarters here this morning.

“These components may weigh differently like in Kuala Lumpur, where I previously served. Engineering was at 50 per cent, Education at 30 per cent, and Enforcement and Emergency response at 20 per cent. But for Sarawak, we will focus on Education, maybe put it at 50 per cent.

“We realise that 90 per cent of fires in Malaysia were caused by human negligence; therefore, we want to set up a community that we would train to become the first line of defence against these fires.

“This is because fires at longhouses or rural areas actually started out small, but destruction became big because of the long response time due to geographical challenges plus the fact that the local communities were not trained nor had the basic equipment to fight fire,” Khirudin told a press conference at the state Bomba headquarters in Jalan Setia Raja here this morning. — DayakDaily