Move to have more control over volunteer firefighters

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  • Thursday, 18 May 2017

Noh Omar (on truck, left) and Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim (right) checking out a Dennis T974, a classic fire engine model. — ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG/The Star

JOHOR: The Fire Services Act 1988 (Act 341) is expected to be amended to allow the volunteer teams for the Fire and Rescue Department to be registered and supervised by them.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said the suggestion for the amendment was being reviewed by the Attorney-General’s office and set to be debated during the next Parliament sitting.

“Currently, our volunteer teams would have to go through the trouble of registering with the Registrar of Societies and abide by their regulations such as the mandatory monthly meetings and finance management.

“Having them under our direct supervision will make it easier for both the department and volunteers as we can monitor the team better and provide them with appropriate training,” he told reporters after launching the Ayer Hitam fire station here.

He said that the move would also encourage more people to join and form volunteer teams, adding that the department has some 13,000 members so far.

Noh Omar inspecting Fire and Rescue Department personnel during the launch of the Ayer Hitam fire station.
Noh Omar inspecting Fire and Rescue Department personnel during the launch of the Ayer Hitam fire station.

He also said currently 80% of the emergency calls were responded to within 20 minutes.

“We noticed that in areas such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Putrajaya and Labuan, the Fire and Rescue Department has been able to achieve 100% response within 20 minutes, while 45% of the emergencies were responded to within 10 minutes.

“However, we believe that this can be further improved,” he said.

Noh also said that the ministry was in the process of completing 40 new stations, adding to the 284 existing stations nationwide.

He added that five of the new stations would be built in Johor, including in Sungai Rengit, Sebana Cove, Punggai, Pagoh and Bandar Tenggara.

The Ayer Hitam station was developed with an allocation of RM9.36mil under the 10th Malaysia Plan and completed on Oct 12, 2012, two years after construction works began.

The station started operating on Jan 1, 2013, with 25 officers.

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