Sarawak Energy gives NGO a new fire engine

The new fire engine vehicle.

BINTULU, Dec 21: Persatuan Bomba Sukarela of Sungai Asap now has a new fully-equipped fire engine, a contribution from Sarawak Energy in a bid to enable swift action in the event of a fire incident in the area.

Sarawak Energy executive vice president (Corporate Services) Aisah Eden handed over the new vehicle engine – which replaces an older vehicle – to councillor Tirah @ Liwan Lawai, the association’s chairman, in a ceremony at Sarawak Energy Bintulu Regional Office recently. The handing over was witnessed by community leaders from the Bakun Resettlement Scheme.

The new fire engine will facilitate the volunteers in their fire-fighting operations at Sungai Asap, since the volunteers serve as first responders, before the arrival of the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba). The fire engine vehicle is in compliance with the specifications set by Bomba.

Aisah said the power utility giant was pleased to have partnered with Bomba on this important initiative that looks into the safety of the community in Sungai Asap. It is hoped that the new fire engine vehicle will enable the volunteer fire fighting team to provide faster and safer mitigation in the event of fire.

Aisah hands over the new fire engine to Tirah. Also seen in the picture are Jiwari (standing seventh left) and Bomba Bintulu divisional head (Fire Prevention and Safety) Gawai John (standing sixth left).

“In an emergency, first responders play a critical role. They may be able to reduce or extinguish the fire before the arrival of Bomba,” she said.

Aisah also expressed her sadness over the Uma Bakung fire that razed 30 units or ‘bilek’ of the 40-unit longhouse on Nov 19. Sarawak Energy provided immediate relief in the form of food and clothing to the affected villagers.

Sarawak Energy also provided immediate relief aid to the fire victims during the major fire incidents back in 2013 and 2017.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Energy general manager (Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability) Jiwari Abdullah opined that emergency response training must be carried out for the communities, regardless of age and gender.

“Through feedback gathered from the communities, the fires mostly started in the kitchen area. Since women tend to spend more time at home taking care of the family, it is, therefore, important for them to learn to use firefighting equipment and to participate in emergency response training,” he said.

Tirah said Persatuan Bomba Sukarela Sungai Asap members were at the site when the Uma Bakung fire incident occurred, and the team helped to put out the fire as well as provided care to the fire victims.

To continue improving their fire-fighting skills, the association would undergo further training with Bomba Bintulu Zone next year. The association also intends to recruit more members from each longhouse within the resettlement.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Energy reiterated that it was committed to a long-term sustainable partnership with the Bakun communities. Since the acquisition of Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) in 2017, Sarawak Energy has been working closely with the communities on several programmes such as Fire Safety Awareness and Prevention Programmes with the association and Bomba Bintulu zone for the 15 longhouses in the Bakun Resettlement area for both Sungai Asap and Apau Koyan.

Sarawak Energy also provided training for the members of the association as well as contributed fire extinguishers and firefighting equipment to the villagers. — DayakDaily