KUALA SELANGOR, Nov 9 (Bernama) — The leave of 14,000 fire and rescue department officers, including Auxiliary Fire Brigade personnel throughout the country, has been frozen to be on standby for possible floods during the Northeast Monsoon period, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
He said that apart from that, his office also implemented an overhaul of the assignment schedule by extending the duty hours of its members from 12 hours to 24 hours so that they would always be ready, especially places that have been allocated assets earlier.
“I’m getting the actual, real-time basis of reports for any emergency. Preparations have also been started earlier and we are examining the probability from all aspects,” he told reporters after a Kenduri Rakyat programme which was also attended by Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Kuala Selangor Parliamentary seat, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz here today.
He added that the preparedness of the fire brigade was also strengthened with the support of the Voluntary Fire Brigade throughout the country, which enhances the capability and capacity of the fire brigade as a whole with a force of about 29,000 members.
In terms of preparations involving machinery, Reezal Merican said his side had obtained emergency supplies including rescue boats.
He said his office has also established a Regional Forward Base (RFB) which functions as an area for deployment of personnel and logistics according to three regional divisions, namely the eastern region (Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang); the northern region (Kedah, Perak, Penang and Perlis) and the southern region (Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka).
“The RFB in these three regions is at the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Academy Wakaf Tapai, Terengganu for the Eastern region; Perda Fire and Rescue Station (BBP), Penang (northern region) and BBP Ayer Hitam, Johor (southern region) which will help the fire brigade to mobilise aid more orderly and quickly.
“For the central region involving Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, the personnel strength and logistics of the state fire brigade have been prepared at an optimum level, and at the same time, other RFB assistance will also be mobilised if assistance is needed,” he said.
In a separate development, Reezal Merican who is also the Supreme Working Council Member of UMNO said the selection of Tengku Zafrul who is also the Minister of Finance as a candidate for the Kuala Selangor Parliamentary seat has given new energy and ‘vibration’ among the people in the area.
“The response (by residents to Tengku Zafrul) is very good. Hopefully, Tengku Zafrul can change the face of Kuala Selangor and the people here will benefit from development and concern,” he said.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency