Northeast monsoon: Over 20,000 Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department personnel on standby

04 Oct 2023 02:07pm
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
Picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
KUALA LUMPUR - A total of 24,283 Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department personnel are ready to face the northeast monsoon season, which is expected to hit the country from November this year to March 2024.

Fire and Rescue Operations director Datuk Ahmad Irzam Osman said the preparations included training to improve boat handling skills, water rescue team training and swift water rescue training.

"We will also inspect all the assets, such as lifeboats and marine equipment, to ensure that they are in good condition.

"Personnel leave will be frozen as required and response team working hours will be changed from 12 to 24 hours depending on the current situation to ensure that there are enough operational members on duty," he told Bernama recently.

Ahmad Izram said the JBPM had previously identified 4,795 flood-prone areas nationwide, with Sarawak having the highest number of 1,034 locations, followed by Kelantan (595), Pahang (554), Sabah (520), Johor (432) and Selangor (307).

Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department has also identified 281 flood-prone areas in Penang, followed by Perak (265), Terengganu (262), Kedah (228), Melaka (124), Negeri Sembilan (92), Kuala Lumpur (35) and Labuan (18).

Pahang Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Dr Wan Mohammad Zaidi Wan Isa said only 20 per cent of its 900-strong staff were allowed to take leave during the northeast monsoon period and that too depending on the situation.

"Basically, the resources in Pahang are sufficient. If there is a major flood, for example like what occurred in 2020 and 2021, we will use assets from states that are not affected by floods," he said.

Kelantan Fire and Rescue Department deputy director (Operations Division) Mohd Wildan Azhari also said about 1,250 personnel are on standby, adding that measures are being taken to freeze all leave in case of unusually bad flood situations.
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"So far, there are sufficient assets in Kelantan and they are all in good condition. We have 11 five-tonne trucks, 60 boats of different types such as fibreglass and aluminium, and 40 four-wheel drive vehicles," he said.

Mohd Wildan also advised the public to prepare for the monsoon transition period by knowing the location of temporary evacuation centres and keeping important documents safe - BERNAMA

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