Tuesday, September 24

Preparing station and zone chiefs for natural disasters

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KOTA KINABALU: Fire and Rescue Departments nationwide have been informed to prepare for natural disasters and extreme weather conditions during the monsoon season as the year comes to an end.

Malaysia Fire and Rescue Department deputy director general (operations) Dato Soiman Jahid said state directors and station chiefs had been told to take necessary precautions in anticipation of monsoon weather.

“Preparatory steps have been implemented nationwide in terms of personnel, logistics and equipment so that Fire and Rescue Departments are prepared at all times.

“We’ve provided assets all over the country including rescue boats, transport lorries for relocation and tents for temporary placement of personnel and victims that need to be moved.

“If weather conditions do not improve, for example flood waters do not recede, we will take action such as announce closure of schools or roads and instruct officers to look into disaster-prone areas before evacuating, if necessary,” he said.

Soiman spoke to members of the press after officiating at an excellence enhancement programme by the Fire and Rescue Department yesterday.

He said the programme was to expose participants to current safety-related issues pertaining to natural disasters, in addition to management and operation of stations.

“Hopefully, this will help station chiefs handle these issues more smoothly in their areas of duty,” he added.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Fire and Rescue Department, Sabah director Nordin Pauzi said the timely programme would help the State department in dealing with disasters and emergencies more effectively.

“We cannot wait for these things to happen to us before we know what to do. Through this programme, data and experiences from past incidents are collected and shared so that we can learn and improve from what has already happened.

“Natural disasters which took place in West Malaysia have been dissected and studied so that action can be taken and improvement can be made in dealing with future occurrences.” he said.