RM60,000 for Kg Simpok volunteer firefighters to complete building

Sagah (fourth right) handing over a mock cheque of RM60,000 to PBS Kampung Simpok chairwoman Alice Luna Bala.

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by Nancy Nais

PADAWAN, March 8: The Kampung Simpok Volunteer Fire and Rescue Force (PBS) received a boost of RM60,000 via a minor rural project (MRP) grant from Tarat assemblyman Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn last night to complete their unfinished building.

Sagah presented the grant during a Kampung Simpok PBS appreciation ceremony and said he will always be ready to assist the community in improving or build any needed infrastructure the best he can.

The primary role of the PBS is to perform firefighting operations in their community while waiting for firefighters from the nearest station to arrive.

Due to Sarawak’s vast land size, many villagers are located far from the nearest town.

Sagah in his speech acknowledged that when fire emergencies occur in a community, volunteers will be the first responders to attempt to control, if not extinguish the fire.

“Apart from that, PBS also holds an important role to spread fire safety awareness and link the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) with their local community. This is why it is important for a village to set up a PBS team,” he said.

In addition, Sagah also handed over fire extinguishers to village heads from Kpg Simpok, Kpg Mundai, Kpg Sarig, Kpg Pesa, Kpg Senah Rayang, Kpg Praya and Kpg Serumah.

Khirudin (in red) with his officers inspecting the unfinished PBS building in Kampung Simpok.

Meanwhile, Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman said well-trained volunteer firefighters must be more responsive even before disasters occur.

He stressed that early precautionary measures must be taken to avoid and reduce the negative impact of disasters on communities.

He called on trained volunteers or community firefighters to lead during emergencies, especially in coordinating rescue and firefighting operations before the arrival of Bomba personnel.

“This is important to avoid any chaos at the location during the emergency situation so that it can be coordinated smoothly,” Khirudin asserted, adding that PBS is crucial as some cases are not even accessible by road or worse, it may take up to two days for Bomba personnel to reach via logging routes or due to bad weather.

Thus, the department’s approach is to create trained community, volunteer and auxiliary firefighters as well as community emergency response teams which can take early action, reduce the impact of a fire or be responsible by educating others even before disasters occur.

Thanking all PBS members from Kg Simpok for volunteering for a noble cause, Khirudin told those present that the word ‘volunteer’ means ‘by own will, not forced, with sincere intent without hoping for anything in return’.

Citing examples, he revealed a recent house fire at Lorong 4 Kampung Mundai in Padawan on Feb 14 was doused by a team of 10 volunteers from PBS Simpok and later firefighters from Siburan station.

On June 14, 2018, PBS Simpok also assisted in the search and rescue operation (SAR) for a two-year-old child who went missing at Kampung Serumah. The child was found safe the next day.

“These people sacrifice their own time, energy, things, and sometimes their own funds to help others to carry out firefighting or community tasks. And today, we would like to thank all of you for this,” he said. — DayakDaily