100 firefighters going to Riau

100 firefighters going to Riau 

14 August 2005

publishedby www.nst.com.my

One hundred firefighters are preparing to leave for Riau, Sumatra, on Monday, to fight the forest fires there.

The firefighters, from nine States, are deemed the country’s best and have experience fighting peat, ground and forest fires. They will leave after medical screening at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital tomorrow.
Fire and Rescue Department assistant deputy-general (operations) Zurkarnian Mohd Kasim said the team was waiting for the green light.

“Upon getting it, we will load our 30 warjet pumps, four all-terrain vehicles, a truck, four-wheel drives and other equipment,” he said today at the department’s station in Cyberjaya.

“We will travel on the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s C130 Hercules from the base in Subang,” he said.

TAKING STOCK: Firefighters in Putrajaya labelling their equipment.

“The team will be headed by senior superintendent Nor’Azam Kassim and Abu Obaidat Mohamad. It will be in Riau for a month to assist the Indonesians.”

The team has been trained in fighting peat, ground and forest fires and some of them have experience of fire-fighting in Indonesia from their stint in 1997.

Zurkarnian said one of the major problems in Riau may be the lack of water sources. Thus, his men would be equipped with the tools required for the dry method.

“We have yet to receive a report from our counterparts in Indonesia, we have not even established the type of fire — different types of fires require specific fire-fighting equipment and methods.

“We will take equipment for peat, ground and forest fires.”


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