IPOH: The standard operating procedure (SOP) for women Fire and Rescue Department personnel will be renewed to allow more to join.
Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin said she had asked Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Muhammad Hamdan Wahid to review the physical process and tests so that recruitment could be simplified.
“At present job opportunities are open to all but women are less likely to apply because they expect this work to be unsuitable as it involves tough physical tasks such as climbing a building or putting out fire.
“Actually, there are many tasks that require women’s involvement such as raising awareness and counselling the general public, especially housewives about fire prevention programmes,“ she told reporters after a meeting with JBPM Perak employees at Balai Bomba Meru Raya, here today.
Also present was JBPM Perak director, Azmi Osman.
Zuraida said at present women make up about 200 out of 14,000 employees or 5% of the Fire and Rescue Department in the country.
In another development, she said the technical evaluation of companies that have successfully tendered for fire-resistant uniforms is now in the final stages.
She said the new heat-resistant uniforms would be tested in advance to meet the required standards.
The media previously reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seized 6,000 fireproof uniforms worth RM13.5 million after the contractor was found to have failed to comply with safety standards despite getting RM2,400 to RM2,500 a set for them.
Nine fire and rescue departments across the country are understood to be facing a critical lack of fireproof uniforms with no new purchases made over the past two years, forcing personnel to wear worn out material or share their suits with off-duty colleagues in the event of a fire. — Bernama