KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Civil Defence Department (JPAM) has a total of 28,358 volunteers, including 2,353 on 24-hour standby for any emergency service.
Its director. Lt. Col. Mulliadi Al-Hamdi Ladin said there are more youths joining the department as volunteers, especially after the intrusion in Lahad Datu earlier this year.
“After Ops Daulat, we realized there were many applications from youths throughout Sabah. This is a very positive sign that Sabahan youths are aware of the role of JPAM in helping the community.
“We are hoping the positive response will place JPAM in a better position, and hopefully more people will know and understand our role,” he said.
Mulliadi said this at the JPAM personnel appreciation and gathering with the media at Tabung Haji, Sembulan on Wednesday night.
Also present was Malaysian JPAM deputy director-general (Operations) Selamat Dahalan, who was the guest of honour for the event.
“In Malaysia, we have about 670,000 JPAM personnel and the applications are increasing, but the government has reduced the number of its recruitment this year due to limited cost.
“Last year, JPAM has set its recruitment number to 200,000 volunteers nationwide, but we received more than 215,000 applications. This year, JPAM set 100,000 new volunteers, and applications have already reached 60 per cent in July.
“I believe, if we increase the numbers for recruitment, there will be more volunteers signing up. However, cost for allowances, instructors and uniforms are limited, so JPAM has set its recruitment to 100,000 only for this year,” said Selamat.
He added that most of the JPAM personnel are working on a voluntary basis, so the government has prepared a number of assistance to ensure their welfare.
Apart from the Group Insurance Scheme with a minimum payment of RM17 yearly, JPAM Welfare and Recreational Club also have their own fund to help any personnel who is injured or had an accident while on duty.
“The awareness of this welfare assistance is still low, so we are hoping more personnel joining this effort will join the scheme to ensure all JPAM volunteers receive their compensation in the event of death or permanent disability,” he added.
Selamat also thank the mass media organizations in Sabah for their contribution to promote the hard-work of JPAM in helping the security forces during emergency or accidents.
He handed over cash assistance to the family of JPAM personnel who died and also to its personnel who were injured on duty.