Five more fire stations in Sarawak by early 2021

Khirudin (second, left) congratulating the Excellent Service Award recipients at the department’s headquarters in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/ The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak will have five more fire stations by early next year to further boost firefighting and rescue operations in the state.

State Fire and Rescue Department director Khirudin Drahman said the new Bintangor and Sibu Jaya fire stations were nearly completed and expected to be in operation soon.

He said three more fire stations were under construction, with the one in Belaga 58% completed, Lutong 14% and Asajaya 11%.

“They were supposed to be completed by the end of this year but progress has been delayed because of the movement control order (MCO), so they will probably be completed by early next year, ” he told reporters after presenting excellent service awards to 61 personnel at the department’s headquarters here on Friday.

Sarawak currently has 34 fire stations in six zones. The Sibu zone has the most with 11, followed by Kuching (six), Samarahan (five), Miri (four), Sri Aman and Bintulu (three each) and Limbang (two).

Khirudin said the department had set up voluntary fire squads and community emergency response teams in rural areas where there were no fire stations.

“In the remote areas, we have trained community firefighters to handle emergencies, ” he said.

Khirudin also said the department carried out various tasks to assist the state disaster management committee during the MCO period.

He said over 1,300 public sanitisation exercises involving various premises had been conducted statewide to date.

“At the same time, we set up a task force to inspect premises for compliance with the MCO.

“As of June 25, we have inspected 515 premises including supermarkets, factories, restaurants, government offices, banks, construction sites and markets, ” he said.

In addition, the department carried out humanitarian assistance disaster relief missions during the MCO.

This included food aid delivery, transporting persons under investigation (PUI) for swab tests, transporting flight arrivals to quarantine centres and assisting with logistics in preparing quarantine centres.

“In other words, our personnel were at the front lines throughout the MCO. We did not turn down any request for assistance from the state disaster management committee and other agencies.

“We thank the state government for their confidence in the department, ” Khirudin said.

He called on the public to continue complying with standard operating procedures during the recovery MCO period to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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