JOHOR BARU: As many as 130 water tanker are on standby to help fight fires in any area experiencing water shortage, said the Fire and Rescue Department.
Department director-general Datuk Wira Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said each tanker, which can carry 20,000 litres of water, can be used for fire-fighting for 20 to 30 minutes.
“The tankers will be used as an alternative to supply water to fire hydrants in areas where there is water shortage.
“The shortage can affect the water supply to the hydrants,” he said after the World Firefighter’s Day celebration at the Persada International Convention Centre yesterday.
The event was earlier launched by Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
Wan Mohd Nor explained that fire hydrants for residential or commercial users shared the same water source from treatment plants.
He said about half of the total of 280 fire stations nationwide were equipped with water tankers and were not facing any water shortage currently.
On another matter, Wan Mohd Nor said a request for an increase in monthly allowances for firefighters has been submitted to the Public Service Department.
He said it was timely for the allowances to be raised due to the long shifts put in by the 18,000 firefighters in the country compared with other professions.
Firefighters currently receive an incentive aid of RM110 monthly as they are not allowed overtime allowances. Those in special teams, such as divers, the Malaysia Emergency Response Services and special taskforce, receive RM100 each month, he added.
The event showcased a parade of some 2,000 officers, including firemen, emergency response teams, fire cadets, and airport and army fire services personnel. About 60 fire-fighting vehicles were also displayed.
In his speech, Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan thanked Sultan Ibrahim for his generosity in allowing eight of his antique fire engines to be displayed in conjunction with the event.
He also said that firemen deserved much credit for the time, energy and lives sacrificed in ensuring the safety of the people and country.