SHAH ALAM: The Fire and Rescue Department has taken delivery of 507 new fire-fighting and support vehicles.
Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said the vehicles, costing some RM428mil, were long overdue as some of the existing fire-fighting vehicles were more than 20 years old.
“These vehicles undergo intensive use, are of high maintenance and frequently broke down, compromising the firemen’s capability in fighting fires and conducting rescue operations,” said Ong who yesterday witnessed a symbolic presentation ceremony of some of the vehicles to the department.
Among the vehicles were 60 units of fire rescue tenders (costing RM83.6mil), 20 units of rapid fire rescue tender (RM14.6mil), six units of heavy recovery vehicle (RM6.3mil) and four units of aircraft refueler vehicle (RM4.7mil)
There were also 100 units of rescue watercraft (RM7.9mil), 10 units of forklift (RM680,000) and 20 units of land rover 4x4 (RM2.9mil).
Ong said the delivery of the vehicles, some two weeks ahead of the start of the 13th Non-Aligned Movement Summit (NAM) later this month was timely.
Ong added that the Fire and Rescue Department would be acquiring two more helicopters, the Augusta A109T from Italy, at RM49.7mil scheduled for delivery later this year.
When interviewed, Fire and Rescue Department research, planning and development assistant director Hamdan Wahid said the newly-acquired vehicles would be placed at strategic fire stations nationwide.
“The department has 1,200 vehicles all over the country. About 60% of our vehicles are more than 20 years old and supposed to be phased out.
“But we still do not have enough vehicles for use, even with the delivery of the 507 vehicles. Therefore, we will still use the “old” vehicles until we have sufficient new ones to serve the country’s need,” said Hamdan.