Women firefighters on par with their male counterparts

Khirudin (standing 8th left) with a group of Sarawak women firefighters at the appreciation ceremony.

KUCHING, Nov 28: The ability and success of female firefighters are equal to their male counterparts who hold important positions in the Fire and Rescue Department Malaysia (JBPM) Sarawak.

In Malaysia, women have been represented in JBPM since 1984 with the existence of the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) and the Hazardous Material Unit Team (Hazmat).

Out of 1,194 firefighters enlisted in JBPM Sarawak, 65 or 6.1 per cent are women.

In disclosing this, JBPM Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman said although the numbers are small, it shows the department’s willingness to see the importance of women in the force that has been a male dominated field for years.

“The role of women in the JBPM is as important as men, and they are always needed regardless of assignments or task.

“As an example, it is much appropriate for them to handle traumatised female victims physically in any disasters because we want to create not only a comfortable environment but giving assurance to the community,” Khirudin said at the Women Firefighters appreciation ceremony yesterday.

In addition, he said female firefighters would also be responsible in creating awareness on fire safety and prevention, among housewives or those working in the kitchen.

Khirudin further said JBPM will increase their recruitment quota in efforts to achieve higher women’s representation in the department.

“To become female firefighters, we need those who are mentally and physically strong to pass the initial screening test and on par with men.

“Relaxation is given to women during the selection session in terms of weightlifting and some others, but when it comes to training, it will be equal among men and women,” he added.

Meanwhile, JBPM Sarawak also congratulated and thanked DayakDaily over the recent Kenyalang Journalism Award 2020, for a four series features entitled ‘Female Firefighters Are Real Life Wonder Woman’ which won the coveted Sarawak Chief Minister Award (English).

Khirudin said the award has shown and acknowledged the recognition and importance of women firefighters in the country. — DayakDaily