KUALA LUMPUR: Personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department displayed impressive tactical skills before Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in conjunction with the International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) celebration.
The show began when female firefighters of the Multi Skill (MUST) Team showcased their abseiling and winching techniques by jumping off an Agusta aircraft before handing over a RT111 professional rescue knife to Fire and Rescue Services Department director-general Datuk Mohamad Hamdan Wahid.
Mohamad Hamdan later presented the knife to the King who declared the International Firefighers' Day celebration at Dataran Merdeka here to be open.
The Special Tactical Operations and Rescue of Malaysia (Storm) team also swung into action at Dataran Merdeka on Saturday (July 20) morning, showcasing their impressive skills that are vital in helping victims in distress in challenging and life-threatening situations.
The IFFD is celebrated on May 4 in honour of firefighters worldwide.
Dataran Merdeka also saw a colourful parade of 35 contingents and 29 machines.
The Hazmat as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive material (CBRNE) teams, and tahfiz fire squad also participated in the parade.
Others included military firefighters, the K9 tracking unit, the Emergency Medical and Rescue Services, as well as air, water and high-rise building rescue squads.
The department also showcased its high performance pump module, foam tender and water tanker machines.
This was followed by a recital of a poem by Fireman Mohd Fauzi Jamidah of Sabah reflecting the spirit of the "Red Warriors".
Local Government and Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the department had recorded a 36% decrease in fire-related losses from RM5.2bil in 2017 to RM3.3bil last year.
She attributed the drop in figures to strategic planning as well as an emphasis on safeguarding, prevention and control at all levels and the promotion of a culture driven by safety.
She said citizen life-savers were established as a part of an inclusive strategy to encourage community involvement.
"We have established the suri squad involving womenfolk, community fire squads and volunteer fire squads in floating villages, islands and longhouses as part of the inclusive initiative," she said.
Zuraida said the government was committed to continuously upgrading the skills of firemen and improving services.
"We will continue sending firemen to participate in seminars, training, and courses abroad in the areas of research and planning, fire science, and fire engineering.
"We will proceed until the department achieves world-class status," she said.