Buau Longhouse community taught firefighting skills
FIREFIGHTERS in Belait yesterday taught some 150 residents of Buau Longhouse in Mukim Sukang the proper ways of using fire extinguishing equipment to ensure they will be able to make use of an existing fire hydrant installed near their area.
The move, said Seria’s Fire Station Commander Muhd Ali Hassan was aimed at enhancing the residents’ capabilities as first responders to any fire incidents, as poor network reception and road would affect the fire and rescue department’s coverage on them.
This, he said, was because in the past, there were cases where fire incidents broke out in the rural areas, but residents were not able to reach out to the Fire and Rescue Department, due to poor mobile reception.
“So what they did was to just let it be, and we would then be informed of the incident the day after,” he said.
“And since last year, residents had also brought up issues on how they can get more protection against fire incidences; as a result, the public works department had installed fire hydrants nearby some of the longhouses in the rural areas,” he added.
At the moment, only the Apak-Apak Longhouse and the Buau Longhouse have fire hydrants installed nearby them.
Besides from the poor network connection, Muhd Ali also said that the condition of the roads leading to these rural areas also made it dangerous for firefighters to bring their fire engines along.
This, he said, was because the roads are hilly and may cause their large fire engines to overturn, so they would only be able to bring their Light Pumper or four-wheel-drive cars, bringing equipments including hoses and nozzles.
Earlier this year, the Fire and Rescue Operations B Branch in Belait had given the Buau Longhouse residents four hoses, a nozzle and a fire extinguisher, for their use against any fire that might happen.
“And (yesterday), we taught them to properly use these equipments, so it might come in handy should there be fire breaking out in the area,” he said.
“The Fire and Rescue Department however, will continue to support and make recommendations to the longhouses (in the rural areas), especially in terms of their safety against fire,” he added.
In the long run, he said the Fire and Rescue Department will also be educating the residents through various programmes, including fire safety talks, which may involve other government agencies including the Information Department and the Community Development Department (JAPEM). Besides from Muhd Ali, also present to help teach the residents were Fire and Rescue Operations B Branch’s Public Relations Officer Azlina Hj Adenan along with five other firefighters.
The Brunei Times