KUALA LUMPUR: Firemen displayed their impressive tactical skills before Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in conjunction with International Firefighters’ Day celebration.
Three women firefighters of the MUST (Multi-Skilled) Team hopped out of the Agusta aircraft, demonstrating abseiling and winching techniques before handing over a RT 111 professional rescue knife to Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid.
Hamdan later presented the knife to the King who declared the International Firefighers’ Day celebration open.
Members of the Special Tactical Operation and Rescue Team Malaysia (STORM) also swung into action at Dataran Merdeka yesterday morning, showcasing skills that were not only impressive, but also vital when helping distressed victims in challenging and life-threatening situations.
International Firefighers’ Day is marked on May 4 in honour of firefighters worldwide.
Dataran Merdeka also saw a colourful parade featuring 35 contingents and 29 machines.
The Hazmat (hazardous materials) unit and CBRne (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive material) teams as well as Tahfiz Fire Squad also participated in the march.
Others included military firefighters, K9 tracking unit, 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.
Fireman Mohd Fauzi Jamidah from Sabah recited a poem aptly reflecting the spirit of the “Red Warriors”.
Local Government and Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the department recorded a 36% decrease in fire-related losses, from RM5.2bil in 2017 to RM3.3bil last year.
She attributed the reduction to strategic planning, an emphasis on safeguarding, prevention and control at all levels, and promotion of a safety culture.
She also noted that citizen life-savers were established as part of an inclusive strategy to encourage community involvement.
“We have set up the ‘suri squad’ involving womenfolk, community fire squad and volunteer fire squad in floating villages, islands and longhouses, in our initiative to be inclusive,” she said.
The government, Zuraida added, was committed to continuously upgrading the skills of firemen and improving services.
“We will continue to send firemen to participate in seminars, training and courses abroad in areas of research and planning, fire science and fire engineering until the department achieves world-class status,” she said.