Sarawak Bomba wants to reactivate 14 ‘auxiliary firefighter’ teams, hopes to be given appropriate federal funding

Khirudin photographed during the press conference at BBP Petra Jaya, Kuching on April 1, 2023.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, April 2: Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) hopes to be given appropriate funding from the federal government to reactivate 14 Pasukan Bomba Sukarela (PBS) or ‘auxiliary firefighter’ teams across the State.

Sarawak Bomba director Datu Khirudin Drahman@Hussaini said there are a total of 57 PBS teams in the State.

However, only 43 of them are active with the remaining 14 teams see ‘no point’ to their service without enough budget to purchase necessary equipment and implement basic training courses.

The 14 inactive PBS teams are in Batu Kawa, Balai Ringin, Sebuyau, Beladin, Julau, Song, Long Pulah Baram, Rh Chabu Lepong, Sibuti Miri, Long Bedian Miri, Bario, Sungai Bok Sebatang, Long Ikang and Long Laput.

Thus, he said if given the federal funding, he would use the money to revive the inactive PBS teams.

“It is my target back in 2019 to have at least 60 PBS teams in Sarawak so that these teams can become ‘first responders’ to incidents that occur in the areas deep into the interior,” he told reporters after an iftar ceremony organised by Kuching Division Journalists Association (KDJA) and Petra Jaya Fire Station here yesterday.

Khirudin (second right) presents ‘bubur lambuk’ to a motorcyclist while Petra Jaya fire station chief Latif Iring (third right) and KDJA president Ronnie Teo (right) look on at BBP Petra Jaya, Kuching on April 1, 2023.

He further stressed the importance of “Kita Selamat” awareness and educational programme or the establishment of Bomba Community which has led to success stories of how seven cases of longhouses were rescued by Bomba Community from burning down in flames.

“Thus, I hope the federal government would consider allocating an appropriate amount from Budget 2023 to develop PBS teams in Sarawak,” he added.

Based on risk mapping, Khirudin can foresee that Sarawak would not be in the priority list to build fire stations because despite her vastness, the Bomba must take into account the factors of demography and fire cover for each particular area.

“The term of reference (TOR) for West Malaysia and Sarawak is not the same. The ‘dictionary’ used must be different,” he emphasised. – DayakDaily