KUCHING: There are presently 397 auxiliary firefighter squads (Pasukan Bomba Sukarela ― PBS) nationwide with almost 15,000 members made up of different races.
Of the number, 47 squads are in Sarawak while seven are in Labuan.
Malaysia Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said the figures reflected the willingness of the public to serve the society and nation.
“The PBS enables community members to voluntarily assist the government and Bomba in maintaining fire safety and emergency in their area.
“It also recognises the importance of community involvement in protecting their lives and property,” he said at the closing ceremony of Borneo-level Auxiliary Firefighters (PBS) Convention 2019 held at Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) headquarters in Jalan Setia Raja, yesterday.
Hamdan added that Bomba is targeting to have at least three PBS in each of the 159 districts in the country.
He said as of November this year, Bomba had attended to a total of 113,710 emergency cases nationwide. PBS was involved in 8,523 of the cases where members provided rescue and other humanitarian services.
“Sarawak recorded 6,477 emergency cases out of which 451 cases were attended to by the PBS.
“This indicates that the percentage of PBS involvement in emergency cases is very high,” he elaborated.
Hamdan said the PBS job scope is not limited to firefighting alone but also covers aspects of public awareness, firefighting inspections and community services.
He also said that Bomba has provided group insurance coverage to PBS members amounting to RM1.28 million.
Fourteen PBS comprising 12 from Sarawak and two from Labuan took part in the convention held from Nov 29 to Dec 1. It featured ‘Kawad’ (marching) competition which was won by Labuan 1 squad.
Also present at the event were Labuan Bomba director Jainal @ Zainal Madasin, Sarawak Bomba director Khirudin Drahman @ Hussaini, assistant director (Operations) Tiong Ling Hii and the department’s Operations officer Mohd Haikal Md Kasri.