“Smaller fire engines a better fit for Sarawak”

One of two fire engines donated by Guro City in Seoul, South Korea to Sarawak.

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KUCHING, July 24: The Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) hopes the federal government will buy smaller fire engines similar to those used in South Korea for the state to utilise.

Bomba Zone 1 (Kuching and Bau) chief Johari Dzulkiflie said the current batch of fire engines were huge and heavy; thus not suitable for use on smaller roads, in villages and over some bridges.

“No doubt they (the current batch) are very good and able to carry more equipment, but they are unable to enter smaller roads or villages,” he said after a dialogue session between the Ministry of Housing and Local Government’s (KPKT) special officers Voon Shiak Ni and Nurhanim Hanna Mokhsen and Bomba personnel here today.

Johari said the two donated to Bomba Kuching by Guro City in Seoul, South Korea, last February were a good fit. However, both fire engines are not used at the moment pending clearance by the Road Transport Department and Puspakom for one reason — both are left-hand drive vehicles.

“The South Korean fire engines will definitely enhance our fire and rescue work. Although they are smaller, these engines can carry all the necessary equipment and pass through smaller roads or terrains,” opined Johari.

It is understood that at times, firefighters encountered difficulties in battling blazes due to narrow roads or having to traverse access roads through plantations.

In some cases, the fire engines cannot cross bridges due to their weight. Some bridges have a limit of five tonnes, whereas current fire engines weigh more than 10 tonnes, including equipment, water and personnel.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-chairman See Chee How, who was also present at the dialogue session, assured Johari that Voon and Nurhanim would bring Bomba’s suggestion on getting smaller fire engines to the ministry.

“In our dialogue today, we discussed on what we can do to serve our firemen better, including their safety at work and equipment needed. This is also to recognise the effort, sacrifices and work of the firefighters. We greatly appreciate what they have done, especially in keeping our community and properties safe,” See said. — DayakDaily