SHAH ALAM: Firemen dealing with hazardous materials will be given a special allowance of RM100 a month.
The 220 firemen with the Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) unit of the Fire and Rescue Department will have the payment backdated to February, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said.
The Government has approved the allowance after taking into consideration the danger they are exposed to when carrying out their job, he said after launching the national-level Firefighters Day celebrations at Dataran Kemerdekaan here yesterday.
Ong also said the department would receive two Mi-17 helicopters, which would be used to fight forest and peat fires.
The new helicopters will complement the current fleet of two Mi-17 and two Agusta 109E in the departments Fire and Rescue Air Unit which was established in September 1998.
The department received RM1.5bil under the Eighth Malaysia Plan.
The duties of firefighters in our country have become more demanding and thus we need to purchase modern equipment, said Ong.
He said May 4 should be remembered as a special day to honour and commemorate the sacrifices made by the 12,000 firefighters in the country and others throughout the world.
He urged Malaysians to show their appreciation by joining the Run with the Firemen event to be held at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on May 29.
I honestly feel they deserve special credit because some of them die in the line of duty, while others suffer permanent and total disability, he said.
Ong later handed over Tsunami Medals to the 41 officers and firemen who were sent to Banda Aceh in December last year to assist tsunami victims in Sumatra.