Ops Selamat patrols along expressway till July 2

Saadon (second left) with his deputy Mohamad Shoki Hamzah (left) shaking hands while chatting with firemen from the Rapid Intervention Motorcycle unit and First Responder fire brigade after launching Ops Selamat.

THE Fire and Rescue Department has been carrying out round-the-clock patrol along a 54km stretch in the North-South Expressway during the festive period.

Its Penang director Saadon Moktar said 30 officers had been patrolling the stretch between Sungai Muda Bridge (near Kedah border) and Bandar Baharu (near Perak border) since Sunday.

He said the operation codenamed Ops Selamat would end on July 2.

“The patrol will be carried out according to schedule.

“An Emergency Medical Response Services (EMRS) team is also stationed at the Sungai Dua toll plaza on standby in case of emergency.

“Even the air rescue unit in Bertam has been placed on alert in case there are major accidents.

“We are expecting peak traffic, starting tomorrow afternoon to Saturday evening.

“The ‘Balik Kampung’ crowd will start going to their hometown to celebrate Hari Raya,” he said after flagging off the patrol units at the Fire and Rescue Department headquarters in Batu Kawan yesterday.

Saadon said only 20% of the department's staff would go on leave during the two-day Hari Raya celebration beginning Sunday.

“We have 826 staff members working in 18 stations within the state, and 662 of them will be on duty during Hari Raya,” he said.

Saadon said based on the Ops Selamat statistics last year, there were 55 cases of fire and four cases of road accidents in Penang.

He urged those leaving their homes to switch off their electrical appliances as 297 cases out of 3,480 fires reported in Penang last year were due to short circuit.

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