‘Seria is prepared for most emergency situations’
SERIA is prepared for most emergency situations that may occur such as any oil and gas related mishaps or floods, according to government agencies concerned with emergency response agencies and the penghulu of the mukim.
Penghulu of Mukim Seria Hj Jamail Hj Linap acknowledged though that there are still further improvements that should be implemented.
They said there were various evacuation and safety procedures in place depending on the type of situation that may occur.
Officer in Charge of the Seria Police Station P/ASP Md Zulhilmi Azmi Dato Aziz told The Brunei Times the police’ main role in a crisis is to evacuate and save lives.
“In situations such as a fire breaking out at any BSP assets, the police would take on the role of the support unit, where we will follow instructions from the on-scene commander,” he said.
He explained that in such situations there will be three zones identified: the hot zone where the incident happened or is happening, the warm zone or the area that will be evacuated and the buffer between the other two zones, and the cold zone where everyone will be evacuated to.
“What’s important is that when any emergency situation breaks out, we need to prevent panic and riot from happening. Our uniform personnel will be sent around to houses, schools and any building that may be affected by the incident to evacuate the people to the cold zones,” he said.
As they are responsible for evacuation, the RBPF will also set up roadblocks around any incident areas to ensure that no civilian will enter the warm or hot zones.
The Fire and Rescue Department, on the other hand, will be operating in the warm and hot zones to neutralise the threat and evacuate those from the hot zones.
ASO Wan Julaini Wan Ibrahim, the public relations officer and Staff Officer of Cawangan Operasi B of the Fire and Rescue Department, told The Brunei Times that “for any incident, we will be concentrated in the hot zone and warm zones, which are the main affected areas”.
For fire incidents affecting BSP assets, usually the BSP Fire and Emergency Response team will be first to take charge, said Wan Julaini. However, if the situation escalates and the department is called in to assist, they would take over command of the situation.
He added that they are also responsible for evacuating those affected in the main incident area and ensure the problem does not spread further, also including incidents that are not related to BSP assets.
In a separate interview, Hj Jamail said the community has also been given several small scale evacuation and fire drills, specifically at schools, villages and government buildings.
In case of any disaster, he added, the civilians will be evacuated according to the District Disaster Management Centre’s procedures and according to prior experience of incidents such as floods, the civilians will be evacuated to locations such as schools, fields or the Pusat Insani Seria.
Even though exercises and drills help saves lives, there are more improvements needed to ensure the safety of the people in Seria, the penghulu said.
“In my opinion there needs to be a bigger scale evacuation drill to see how the response is for any large scale disasters, whether it’s a huge flood or an oil refinery catching fire and exploding,” he said.
The penghulu also suggested installing sirens at various points around Seria for an immediate warning system.
“Especially for places like here in Seria, where there are lots of oil and gas assets, there should be various alarm systems placed around the mukim, to immediately inform the public of any dangers,” said Hj Jamail.
He explained that at the various BSP refineries and tanks, there are some sirens installed, however, if there was a large scale disaster, the siren itself would not be sufficient to inform most of the public.
The penghulu added there also needs to be various safe areas permanently identified for any disaster, so that it will ease the process of evacuation.
“Relevant authorities should help identify one main area as a safe area, specifically further away from the oil and gas areas. This will help make evacuation faster as everyone would know about the safe area, and if a disaster actually does occur it will help save more lives,” said the penghulu.
The Brunei Times