Ministry urged to review upgrading of fire stations

Tiong (second left) receives a mock key of a living quarters from Norhayati during the handing-over ceremony as (from left) Afzal, Tony and Ronald look on.

BINTULU: The Ministry of Housing and Local Government has been urged to review the upgrading of existing fire stations in the state.

In making the suggestion, Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) acting deputy director, senior fire superintendent I Tiong Ling Hii, said the existing fire stations in Sarawak were not categorised into their actual grades.

“Under my alignment plan, Bintulu fire station should be categorised under Grade A+.

“Why I don’t put Padungan, Sibu or Miri? If you can see, if the fire engines break down in Bintulu, the fastest to give backup are fire engines from Samalaju and Tatau fire stations which take about one hour, so we look at the need in this area.

“While in the aspect of fire cover, it is very high with the gas and petroleum industry and other heavy industries here. I hope there will be a continuity to upgrade the fire station,” said Tiong.

He was speaking during the official project handing-over for the upgrading of one office block of Bintulu fire station and the construction of 30-unit living quarters and a surau here yesterday.

Tiong extended his appreciation to the federal government and Ministry of Housing and Local Government for the implementation of the long-awaited project to build new living quarters for firemen in Bintulu which had just been completed.

He said the federal government had allocated RM4 million for the repair and maintenance of the Bomba quarters.

With the new quarters, Bomba personnel in Bintulu do not need to rent houses or rooms anymore.

Due to limited number of quarters previously, he said they used to rent houses which cost RM1,500 the cheapest or a room at a shop lot for RM1,000 per month.

“So you just imagine with only RM1,800 basic salary, plus allowances and minus other commitments, they have to find other means to earn extra income, and we don’t prevent them as long as they can still perform their task as firemen,” he added.

Tiong congratulated Bintulu Bomba personnel for their hard work and high commitment in fighting forest fires at Similajau National Park recently, saying it was not an easy task but they had carried out the operation successfully.

Also present at the event were Ministry of Housing and Local Government Region 6 assistant director Norhayati Mahat, senior fire superintendent II Mohd Afzal Mat Kiar from Putrajaya, Bintulu Bomba zone chief Unjar Lum, station chief Mohamad Meramit, Tony Chiew Chan Yew a representative of Tanjong Batu assemblyman, and Sawaja Maju Sdn Bhd person-in-charge Ronald Jikus.

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