By Nancy Nais
SERIAN, June 22: Communities, especially those living outside the cities or far from the nearest fire station, will most likely be on their own during the early stages of a disaster.
With some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills, Kedup assemblyman Martin Ben said this would improve the ability of citizens to survive and to help others until responders or other assistance arrive.
Highly supportive of the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba)’s community-based programs, Martin said the firefighters could teach these villagers to prevent, prepare for and respond.
“Villagers can work together to help prevent, reduce injuries, loss of lives and property damage. Neighbourhood preparedness will enhance the ability of individuals and neighbourhoods to reduce their emergency needs and to manage their existing resources until the firefighters arrive,” he said at the Bomba Komuniti closing ceremony in Kampung Dyiang Ipuh yesterday.
He also said it was an encouraging response to see 100 participants from 15 villages in Serian taking part in the three-day program organised by Serian fire station.
It involved the following Kampung (villages) Bugu Mawang, Krait Mawang, Mentung Silaga, Paon Rimu Bakong, Krait, Sangai Mawang, Sangai Empani, Mentung Birawan, Mentung Mubuk, Sumpas, Paon Gahat, Resak, Bugu Ngiyang, Sg Paon Rimu and Diyang Ipuh.
“I am sure all of you are one step ahead now compared to others who have yet to participate. To others, do not worry. If we have more allocation, we will organise similar programs.
“I hope all of you will remember what you’ve learned from our firefighters and put it to good use. Do not disappoint our Bomba friends who’ve spent three days teaching you patiently. They are genuine in serving and teaching the community for the betterment of all,” Martin said.
He also asked the villagers to understand the importance of having Bomba Komuniti due to the fact that Serian has only one fire station to cater to a huge constituency.
“Do not put the blame on Bomba when there is fire. Do not complain if Bomba arrives late. Think again on why or how a fire starts in the first place,” said Martin, echoing the state Bomba director Khirudin Drahman’s earlier message to the villagers.
He acknowledged that Bomba had been putting a lot of effort on awareness programs to educate the public.
Meanwhile, former prison warden Dominic Jiron, 75, from Kampung Bugu Ngiang was a very happy pensioner as he was able to participate in the program.
The oldest participant in the program, Dominic said he offered himself to join Bomba Komuniti because there are not many young men in his village.
“As you know, many of them are working in other cities, leaving the older men or women and children here.
“I told myself if I don’t take it up, who else? Apart from learning and understand, we can also set a good example. When I go back to my village, I will teach my fellow neighbours what I’ve learnt,” Dominic said. — DayakDaily