By Nancy Nais
ANIMALS are afraid of fire and run away from it. People who know how to make and harness fire, are able to use it for different purposes and much good.
Unfortunately, fire can be dangerous and often breaks free, causing terrible incidents and elements that bring harm not just to property, but lives as well.
Present to help prevent these undesirable consequences or reduce damages are these special people called firefighters.
Regardless of whether they are our friends, family members or perhaps strangers, firefighters are definitely at the heart of every community.
These brave and strong men and women are special for the fact that they respond to a stranger’s call for help without hesitation and serve with pride and compassion.
Firefighters dedicate and risk their lives to save someone else’s and the truth of the matter is they do this every single day, without blinking an eye.
In the eyes of some, the profession may appear to be a lowly one; but those who understand the work which the firefighter has to do, know that it is a noble calling.
Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills and spurs them to deeds of daring, even sacrifice.
And every firefighter knows that he or she is always susceptible to tragedy because they go to work every day knowing that they are placing themselves in danger — the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter’s life.
Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Malaysia will celebrate International Firefighters’ Day tomorrow.
Unlike previous years, where grand celebrations with demonstrations and performances were commonly held, marking the day this time will be slightly out of the norm.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Movement Order Control (MCO) which started on March 18 and was extended until May 12, no mass gatherings or assemblies are allowed.
Instead, the department will telecast their Director-General Datuk Hamdan Wahid’s speech in Putrajaya live over Facebook at 2pm.
Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman said undoubtedly, the tasks carried out by firefighters grow increasingly challenging every day, with the rapid growth of the population in the state, as well as of accidents and disasters.
“But our firefighters are ready to serve and help when needed, regardless of place, time, race and religion.
“On top of that, with the current Covid-19 pandemic, our firefighters’ job scope became much more challenging as they not only have to work with the new normal but in actual fact have to go beyond that,” Khirudin said.
Although the department has tightened its standard operating procedure (SOP) in view of Covid-19, its firefighters must maintain their speed and efficiency when they respond to a call.
As difficult as it might be, each and every one of them must meet the challenges faced, especially here in Sarawak, being the largest state in terms of land size and with challenging conditions.
“We had to change our strategies and mindset to overcome this pandemic and difficult times. Thankfully, the federal and state government leaders understand Bomba’s ability and current status, and they are concerned over us as well,” Khirudin pointed out.
He also noted that as frontliners, Bomba is also assisting to enforce the MCO.
“We have 350 firefighters per shift (12-hour rotations) throughout Sarawak to help the other frontliners. Apart from their core fire and rescue services, all the 32 stations have been instructed to be on standby to respond to any cases involving Covid-19. We will continue to deliver the best by serving, leading and inspiring,” he said.
Then there are also the community-at-large and non-government organisations, whom Khirudin described as outstanding for their tremendous support towards Bomba Sarawak.
As a tribute to all firefighters on International Firefighters’ Day, just a simple act of kindness like letting them know that they matter through a word of thanks and saying a prayer for their wellbeing, is sometimes all it takes to brighten their day.
At the same time, while the country is under MCO, many firefighters are out there working and sanitising public places to keep us healthy and safe, therefore they would appreciate it as much if the community abides with the order by staying at home. — DayakDaily