Too many volunteer fire fighting groups, says minister

The Housing and Local Government Ministry will review the setting up of voluntary fire-fighting squads to avoid having too many of them in the country.

Its minister Wira Chor Chee Heung said the ministry did not want such squads to be set up at whim by the local communities but unable to function well.

“I do not want a situation where due to dissatisfaction with each other, some community leaders might set up a new voluntary fire-fighting team in their area for reasons other than helping the community.

“It’s true that previously we had been encouraging people to set up voluntary fire-fighting teams, but the time has come for us to limit the number,” he said after handing over a fire engine to the Kuala Kedah Voluntary Fire-fighting Squad, today.

Chor said the Fire and Rescue Department should also conduct a study to seethe distance between the voluntary fire-fighting units, the locations andpopulation size of an area to enable each team to give the best service.

He said the government was responsible for providing training, basic fire-fighting equipment, vehicles and mobile pumps for the voluntaryfire-fighting squads to carry out their tasks.

He added that communities in the interior or remote areas should also set up fire-fighting squads as their areas were far away from the fire and rescuestations.

At today’s function, an RM80,000 fire engine donated by the Rotary Club of Japan was handed over to the active voluntary fire-fighting squad. At present, there are 332 voluntary fire-fighting squads throughout thec ountry with about 14,000 members.

– Bernama