SIBU: The voluntary fire station in Dalat measuring 1,400 sq feet and constructed at a cost of RM50,000 is now ready for operation.
Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) director Nor Hisham Mohammad said this was an interim measure to respond swiftly to fires as the nearest facility is in Mukah, some 40 minutes’ drive away.
He pointed out that the proposal for the full pledge Class D fire station for Dalat has yet to get government approval, and will be put under their 2018 list.
“As an interim measure, Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah contributed RM80,000 under her Minor Rural Projects (MRP) fund, where the concrete building was constructed via ‘gotong-royong’ at a cost of RM50,000 and completed within 60 days.
“We use (the balance of) RM30,000 to acquire pumps which we researched and found portable and able to withstand pressure to fight small scale fires.
“We are thankful to YB Datuk Fatimah and the new building will be officially handed over on Saturday (today),” Nor Hisham told reporters after breaking fast at Sibu Fire Station on Thursday.
He said the station would be considered operational once the building is handed over.
Present were state Bomba assistant director for operations Tiong Ling Hii, Wan Kamarudin Wan Ahmad representing Sibu Bomba zone chief Abdul Mutalib Rashid and Sibu Station chief Abdul Mutalif Jaafar.
A total of 40 children from Peryatim Sibu, accompanied by its acting manager Siti Aminah Abdullah, joined the break of fast.
Nor Hisham added that the next step will be to source for fire engines from the private sector, government or other sources.
Concerning human resources for their operation in Dalat, he said voluntary firefighters would be engaged.
“Since this is a PBS (voluntary fire brigade), we have set up and registered the team under a community leader. Distress
calls will be received by the community leader from his home, and he will relay the information to the voluntary firefighters who will go to the station to get their gears and firefighting equipment.
“Although there may be a slight delay in response time compared to that of existing standby Bomba, it is better than having to wait for fire engines from Mukah,” Nor Hisham said.
He said the building doubles as a community place of sorts by day.
On the proposed Class D Dalat Fire Station, he said a three-acre site had been identified.
The RM6.5 million Selangau Fire Station, which is also Class D, is in the process of land acquisition and compensation.
Nor Hisham said all the documentations had been completed and that Land and Survey Department had promised to speed up the land acquisition which would take four to six months.
“The RM6.5 million project does not include staff quarters for which we are trying to get allocation. There is a problem of renting accommodation there,” he said.
He said only proposed fire stations in Sibu Jaya and Samalaju are of Class C.
There are seven fire stations under various stages of construction in the state.