7 firefighters perish in line of duty since 2009
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A TOTAL of seven firefighters have lost their lives in the line of duty, said the Minister of Home Affairs yesterday.
During the 12th Legislative Council session yesterday, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar Hj Apong said that the ministry has recorded seven deaths and 21 injuries among firefighters in response to emergencies since the introduction of the Group Protection Scheme in 2009.
He said the ministry has issued compensation for the 28 personnel’s families as the ministry focuses on the welfare of the affected families.
The department has also allowed the families to reside at the Fire and Rescue Department housing until they are able to find a permanent house under the National Housing Scheme.
The department also clarified that firefighting personnel aged 50 years old and above are under the Employees Trust Fund (TAP) scheme and the pension scheme.
YB Pehin Dato (Dr) Hj Awang Abu Bakar went on to say that the health and safety of firefighters is also the ministry’s priority.
The ministry has taken various initiatives to address the concern of the firefighters, such as providing personal and protective equipment when carrying out their duties. The equipment include fire jackets and breathing apparatus.
The initiatives are taken to ensure it is in line with international safety standards.
The minister said the department is also focusing on the personnel’s fitness to ensure they are capable of carrying out their duties effectively.
“Each personnel goes through physical endurance tests every six months to monitor the level of their (fitness),” said YB Pehin Dato Dr Hj Awang Abu Bakar.
He added health checks on the personnel are also carried out before they are allowed to take part in the department’s programmes.
During the session, the minister also touched on the fire departments located in the Temburong District.
He said the two stations, comprising approximately 80 personnel, conduct training from time to time to ensure there are well prepared for emergency.
The minister went on to say that the completion of the Temburong Bridge will provide more assistance from other fire units for the district.
The Brunei Times