TAWAU (Bernama) – Malaysia’s federal government has approved an allocation of RM103 million for the rebuilding and upgrading works as well as construction of new building of six fire and rescue stations in Sabah this year.
Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Mohamad Hamdan Wahid said the allocation was for the fire stations in Tuaran, Nabawan, Merotai, Lahad Datu, Beaufort and Semporna.
“The government has also approved for the maintenance works to be carried at fire and rescue staff quarters nationwide including Sabah with a RM3.8 million allocation.
“This demonstrate the federal government’s commitment to ensure that all fire and rescue stations are in compliance with the existing requirements, thus providing fire protection and rescue operations,” he told reporters after a dialogue with the department’s senior officers and personnel.
Mohamad Hamdan also said that there was a plan to establish a fire station at water villages to address responsive times issue in dealing with fire incident in the area.
“The concept and designs have been prepared and we will look at the suitability of the establishment of such fire station that classified as E category with hope to assist the local population especially those living in the water villages,” he said.
He said the department would also look into the possibility of setting up special unit namely the hazardous material (Hazmat) unit in certain areas in Sabah such as in the industrial zones that processed various types of materials involving hazardous chemicals or flammable materials.
“For example, if there is an urgent need in Tawau, the unit response from Kota Kinabalu will take as long as nine hours to reach Tawau on special machinery, as the special unit is only available in Kota Kinabalu.
The unit was important to areas with a chemical hazard as fire-fighting could not be carried out using the usual methods, as it must be done in accordance with the procedures and resolutions of international standards, he said.
In addition, Mohamad Hamdan said the department would also establish additional training centres for the Akademi Wilayah Sabah in other districts as currently there was only one centre in Kota Kinabalu.
“With more training centres, this will save time and cost of moving personnel involved, for example in Sarawak, the academy is located in Kuching but Bintulu and Miri have their own training centres,” he said.