Taking the Kemaman model as an example, the Fire and Rescue Department plans to increase the number of such corps, who are made up of residents living in kampungs and residential areas.
“We plan to expand the community-based Fire and Rescue force and will use their services to help in disaster relief efforts.
"The department will train the volunteers in disaster management and fire prevention,” its director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said.
Wan Mohd explained that the programme focuses on training about 20 volunteers in each area in disaster relief efforts as they play an important role in the early stages of disasters.
“In the recent floods, the community-based force helped in the evacuation process so areas where they were present did not experience a lot of difficulty,” he said.
“We had a trial run for the corps in Kemaman, which was also affected by floods, but the disaster management in Kemaman is among the best.
"We will use the Kemaman model and apply it in other areas. If we can divide the teams based on districts, the efforts will be more organised,” he said.
Wan Mohd explained that in Kemaman, the residents had early preparation in flood management and were trained by the department to react to a disaster.
“During critical situations, disaster situations happen all at once in a large area so it is difficult if we are to only rely on one agency.
"At least with this programme, the less-critical areas can be handled by their own community and later on, the volunteers can manage and organise evacuation centres and gotong-royongs," he said.
The volunteer programme kicked off in stages in 2014 and will be beefed up in the coming year.
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