Frontliners want better equipment, allowance from Budget 2022

Doing their part: Muhammad Shiddique conducting routine inspections of equipment at a fire station in Bukit Mertajam. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Several frontliners from the Civil Defence Force (APM), Fire and Rescue Department, and healthcare sector in Penang are calling on the Federal Government to provide them with better equipment and overtime allowance under Budget 2022.

Central Seberang Prai APM personnel Nurul Huda Che Lah, 43, said the government should look into improving the equipment used by the force during operations.

Noor Shafawati hopes for more equipment.Noor Shafawati hopes for more equipment.

“We would be able to do our job more efficiently if we have proper safety equipment and better protection,” she said when met at the district headquarters here yesterday.

Nurul Huda, who has been on the force for the past nine years, also said it would be helpful for frontliners like her if the government draws up remuneration packages or cash incentives for them.

“With the high living cost nowadays, an increase in our allowance would help us a lot,” she said.

Her colleague Mohd Israfuddin Mohd Isa, 36, echoed a similar view and hoped for a bigger budget for the well-being of frontliners.

“We need more personal protective equipment (PPE) during our rescue operations.

“A bigger one-off cash incentive would be a great help as well.”

Fire and Rescue Department senior officer II Norhayati Mohamad, 55, said a special incentive for all frontliners would be a nice gesture from the Federal Government in appreciating their contribution.

“Drawing up a new increment plan for frontliners in next year’s budget would be great.

“The government could also do something to help frontliners who have children and have to work at the same time,” said Norhayati, who has been in the force for 31 years.

Fire officer Muhammad Shiddique Che Lob, 29, said he hopes that there would be additional allocation under Budget 2022 for the department to purchase more PPE so that firemen could use them during operations.

“Rescue operations are vital in our job, and the PPE is very important as we need to wear the gear while saving lives and at the same time, protect ourselves from Covid-19.

“The government should also consider giving an allowance to all frontliners who have toiled day and night to protect the country,” he said.

In George Town, Noor Shafawati Abdul Aziz, 36, who works as a nurse in a government clinic, hopes to see a more healthcare-oriented budget next year.

“Apart from reviewing salaries, maybe the government could do more by adding more intensive care unit (ICU) beds as well as other equipment.

“It is also important that the government allocates funds for new healthcare recruits in next year’s budget.

“This would help ease the burden of the current healthcare workforce; we are exhausted due to the lack of personnel at hospitals,” she said.

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frontliners , Budget 2022 , equipment


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