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Voluntary Fire Force to be placed under Dept
Published on: Thursday, July 02, 2020
By: Lagatah Toyos
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Misran handing over a RM19,000 cheque to Murnialisah.
TAWAU: The proposal to place the Voluntary Fire Force in Sabah under the Fire and Rescue Department is in the final stage of preparation.

This is part of the effort to ensure members of the force who are not insured are protected. 

State Fire and Rescue Operations Assistant Director, Misran Bisara, said if this (takeover) were to happen, members of the Voluntary Fire Force will automatically be insured and enjoy allowance similar to those in Rela and the Civil Defence Force. 

“We are striving to place the Voluntary Fire Force under the Fire and Rescue Department. However, this matter is still in the planning stage,” he said. 

He said this in a press conference in conjunction with the handing over of insurance and equipment to the Voluntary Fire Force at the Tawau Fire Station, here, Tuesday. Also present were Tawau Zone Fire and Rescue Chief Sukur Hata. 

At the event, Misran also presented RM19,000 to Murlianisah, 36, daughter/next-of-kin to Felda Umas Voluntary Fire Force member, Musa Manaf, 65, who passed away last year. 

Of the RM19,000, RM15,000 is from the Voluntary Fire Force group insurance, while RM4,000 is for members who have died. 

Misran said there are currently 45 Voluntary Fire Force units in Sabah, with 36 of them registered under the Registrar of Societies (RoS). However, the provisions of the law provide recognition to only 20 members who have registered for the group insurance. 

He said the number of Voluntary Fire Force members in one area is not restricted but only 20 members are insured and that means only 720 members are insured from the 36 Voluntary Fire Force units throughout Sabah. 

“In the event of unintended incidents, these 20 members of the Voluntary Fire Force will be protected under the Societies Act and receive insurance as well as money for the deceased from the Department. 

“However, it doesn’t mean other members are not protected. We look at other means of assistance, especially in instances where the membership of some Voluntary Fire Force units is over 100. But due to constraints, only 20 members are insured,” he said. 

Misran also said the Department regarded the Voluntary Fire Force as part of its team to facilitate rescue activities in districts or villages, adding that their (Voluntary Fire Force) arrival at the scene is used by the Department as a Key Performance Index (KPI).

“The Department’s KPI is measured by the presence of Voluntary Fire Force at the scene due to the distance and locations which is difficult for our teams to reach, especially remote areas, such as Sebatik Island. It is the Voluntary Fire Force that represents the Department in responding swiftly,” he said. 

He also praised the commitment of five Voluntary Fire Force units in the district for being active and considered the best in Sabah for always assisting the Department. In some cases, they have also attended to more cases compared to the nearest fire station due to the distance. 

In terms of infrastructure facilities, in addition to being required to train under the Department, the Department also donates equipment such as helmets, t-shirts, boots, gloves and vehicles, etc, to the Voluntary Fire Force. Among examples of the Voluntary Fire Force receiving vehicles from the Department is Felda Sahabat and Felda Umas. 

Misran said although there are five vehicles allocated for the Voluntary Fire Force in Sabah, it has yet to be handed over to the Department, adding the Department is doing its level best to provide equipment to ensure the Voluntary Fire Force is equipped for the high-risk task. 

 


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