Villagers to become early responders

Penang Civil Defence Force Special Team demonstrating how they rescue victims trapped in rubble during the closing ceremony of the APM Carnival 2023 in George Town. - Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

RESIDENTS of seven villages in Penang have been picked by the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) to undergo training to become early responders during disasters.

Known as Kampung Siaga 221, the programme will be carried out in Sungai Pinang and Kampung Bukit on the island as well as Kampung Paya Tok Akil, Kampung Desa Puri, Kampung Bukit Teh, Kampung Bagan and Kampung Sungai Kechil on the mainland.

Penang APM director Lt-Kol (PA) Ishak Mohd Radzi said the programme would be carried out by villages in all five districts following requests from assemblymen and the state government.

“This programme is an effort to boost the level of preparedness among residents in the event of a disaster,” he told reporters after the closing ceremony of APM Carnival Day in conjunction with Civil Defence Month celebrations at the Esplanade, George Town.

He said the residents would be trained by APM personnel to face disasters and other emergencies.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said although Malaysia was not in a disaster zone, it was not spared from emergencies like floods.

“With APM and others, we can prepare assets and mobilise personnel when disaster strikes.”

He said APM, as a lead agency in the frontline, played a crucial role along with other security agencies.

He commended APM for organising the event, which he said would help expose the public to its role in dealing with emergencies.

Earlier in his speech, Chow said the establishment of Kampung Siaga 221 was a good step in making sure that the community was ready if disaster struck.

He called on the community to participate in activities and programmes organised by APM.

The carnival comprised 33 booths featuring APM assets, health screening, games such as archery and the sale of food and beverages.

Also present were APM Policy Planning and Coordination Division director Asst Comm (PA) Mohd Yusoff Samad, Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang as well as several assemblymen.

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