’Be vigilant in the line of duty’

National 1 minute, 36 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

PERSONNEL from the Fire and Rescue Department were urged to be vigilant in the line of duty with the high number of incidents requiring their services recently.

The department has responded to 916 cases of forest fires, 399 grass fires (kebakaran rumput) caused by open burning, and 61 house and building fires from January to May this year.

Director at the department Yahya Hj Abdul Rahman said the figures were a concern.

“Due to this, we must improve our preparedness as the risks involved with these incidents and fires are high. At the same time, we hope that the public awareness programmes we have been running will be effective,” he said yesterday.

He said that a large number of the incidents were caused by humans, but added that climate change is also a challenge that the department is currently facing.

“Our country has been affected by the impacts of climate change. (Climate change) has been felt by countries not only in this region, but across the world and Brunei is no exception,” said the director who explained that the El Nino phenomenon has resulted in droughts and wildfires.

With the end of the dry season, Brunei is now experiencing the South-West monsoon which comes with trans-boundary haze, said the director.

He noted that it also comes with squally weather and increased risks of fallen trees, blown off roofs and decreased visibility for road users.

With this in mind, he urged the public to be careful during this period, adding that last year’s Hari Raya Aidil Fitri saw 13 distress calls for road accidents which resulted in five fatalities.

“It is hoped that we are always ready and prepared to face any emergency and weather by prioritising each other’s safety while conducting these operations,” said the director.

He urged the personnel to also wear their safety gear to prevent any further accidents or injuries during their operations.

The Brunei Times