The women firefighters fighting Covid-19 alongside their male comrades

Noor Azzilla Jasa joining the disinfection operations at MBKS.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Apr 15: Firemen across the state continued to spray thousands of gallons of disinfectant to curb Covid-19 and joining them were their female comrades.

Among the ladies in their bright orange camouflage carrying out the operations were those from Padungan Kuching and Miri Central fire stations.

The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) were employed in carrying out disinfection operations in Covid-19 hotspot clusters, quarantine centres, vulnerable public places and many more.

Together with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and local councils, the statewide operations started since March 30 and it will continue on a daily basis until the situation is brought under control.

While it is a normal routine for these female firefighters to fight fires, come to the aid of humans and animals alike, the Covid-19 virus is a totally new scenario that has killed many lives worldwide.

“This is the first time we have faced such a high-risk task. The challenges are there, and I would be lying if I said I am not afraid. However, we firefighters pledged since day one after we graduated from the academy to serve and reach out to the community at all times.

“We understand the sacrifices we must make, push away the fears to the corner in order to complete the task and at the same time, always remind ourselves to be extra careful, cautious and take precaution such as wearing our personal protection equipment (PPE),” Yanti Octavia Abang Lee from Padungan fire station said.

Relating her experience to DayakDaily, Yanti who was part of the operation team yesterday at Kuching South City Council (MBKS) said carrying the heavy and full load sanitising equipment with 10 litres of solution on her back is slightly lighter than carrying the breathing apparatus (BA) when she goes out for her normal firefighting duties.

Upon completion of her task, Yanti said she actually felt very satisfied because she was part of the team curbing Covid-19.

“I also felt appreciated because Fire and Rescue department (Bomba) and my superiors have faith in me for such task,” Yanti said, adding that it was something she is proud of.

Her colleague from the same station, Noor Azzilla Jasa had mixed feelings when she was tasked to sanitise several places carried out in the city as well.

“In the beginning, I was worried. Covid-19 virus is something that we cannot see. We don’t know who has it and who doesn’t. However, when I joined my team prepare the needed equipment for operations, I felt different. I saw my comrade’s faces, then the fighting spirit came to me,” Azzilla said cheerfully.

She added that they sprayed disinfectant on the shutters of closed shops, footpaths, walls, handrails and other buildings in the vicinity.

Even though it’s the first time the department is handling such a situation, she said they were prepared and the department had been provided with the necessary safety gears.

Meanwhile, in Miri, four female firefighters Rozita Hidup, Cyndi Lahei Ajeng, Siti Ara Matsapar and Nur Hidayah Abdul Latip took part in today’s operation at Miri Prison.

Together with 10 other firefighters, 20 prison officers and two from MOH, Rozita said they were tasked to sanitize 10 blocks in an area of about 2,000 square meters.

“In the beginning, when I was assigned to such operations, I was quite worried, but on the other hand, I know it is part of our job as firefighters to serve and help the community. So we prepared the equipment and PPE as required.

“Upon completion of today’s operation, I felt some sort of satisfaction. Perhaps it was also the feeling of accomplishment for Cyndi, Siti Ara, Nur Hidayah and myself as well because we were part of the team,” Rozita said, adding that at the end of each task, all of them will take their shower at their fire station before changing to another pair of uniform for the next task. —DayakDaily

Four female firefighters (from left) Nur Hidayah, Cyndi, Siti Ara and Rozeta) took part in today’s disinfection operations at Miri Prison.
Yanti Octavia joining the disinfection operations at MBKS.
Rozeta and Cyndi at one of disinfection operations.