KOTA KINABALU – Sabahans have been advised to have their local fire stations’ number hand in the event of fire, aside from using the nationwide emergency number,999. Sabah Fire and Rescue Department director Khirudin Drahman explained that this would ensure a faster response time, in case they were not able to contact the department through the emergency line.
Commenting on the fire in Kampung Dabak, Jalan Pogun, Penampang, near here recently, he said the response time from the fire station there was three minutes. In the incident, an elderly couple was left homeless.
House owner, John Kinsuat, 60, who was not at home in the 10.30am incident, said he was told by his neighbours that firemen took too long to reach the place, although the house was less than a kilometre from the district’s fire station. Penampang fire and rescue station-in-charge, Johny John, said they managed to control the fire in 20 minutes after reaching the scene at 10.56am.
Khairudin said, “I was told that the number which they used to report the fire was 999. The (call centre) for this number is in Kuching and they claimed that they had dialled the number nine times but [were] not responded to. Then they the called the police. The police then called us. We reached the place three minutes later,” he said, adding that he had reviewed the matter with his officers to see what can be done to smoothen the process involving calls to the number 999 in the future.