KANGAR: The ‘Bomba Komuniti’ is a true ‘ground zero’ unit consisting of volunteers from the local community, who becomes the ‘First Respondent’ at the scene of an emergency to help victims before the arrival of fire engines at the location.
Perlis Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director Senior Fire Superintendent 1 Ruhisha Haris(pix) said the role of the volunteer body is of utmost importance and crucial because they were the first people to reach the scene of a crisis like a fire.
“Bomba Komuniti members are given basic training by JBPM officers so they can help the victims and also more importantly, play a role as the eyes, ears and mouth of JBPM in providing exposure to the community on the procedures for handling fire incidents,“ he told Bernama recently.
Ruhisha said so far there were 49 Bomba Komuniti units comprising 606 members in the state.
He said the main role of Bomba Komuniti was to provide education on fire safety to the public and render fire inspection services in houses to help prevent or reduce fire incidents.
It was learnt that there is no budget provided for Bomba Komuniti who are unpaid, grassroots volunteers plucked from the heart of their communes, and are only trained with rudimentary knowledge on fire prevention and fire-fighting skills, with no uniforms nor equipment (like fire-extinguishers) provided.
He said Bomba Komuniti members also conveyed and explained the role of the Fire and Rescue Department to the community, raising awareness on fire prevention among the public, providing exposure and knowledge on the use of fire safety equipment available in the locality.
“Besides that, it (Bomba Komuniti) also serves to expand the relationship between community leaders, non-governmental organisations and the Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) as well as foster the spirit of concern of the local community,“ he said.
He said among the Bomba Komuniti units active in Perlis were in Pauh, Kampung Alor Ara Timur, Padang Siding, Taman Sri Wang, Arau Public Housing Plan (RPA), Kayang, Bintong, Taman Sepadu and Taman Beseri Indah.
“If viewed in terms of statistics, the number of fire and rescue calls has decreased in recent years.
“In 2021, the Perlis Fire and Rescue Department received a total of 980 calls consisting of 508 fire calls, 467 rescue calls and four special duties compared to 1,287 calls in 2020 (911 fire calls, 369 rescue calls, 7 special duty calls),“ said Senior Superintendent Ruhisha .
He added that the special duty call was to help the public catch snakes, lizards, rescue cats and so on apart from other emergency duties.
“For firefighters, all emergency calls received are important and will always help the community even if sometimes it is considered trivial such as rescuing a cat because it opens up to the risk of injury if executed by the public,“ he said.-Bernama