40 PERSONNEL IDENTIFIED FOR POSSIBLE FIREFIGHTING DUTIES IN AUSTRALIA

NURHAFIZAH TAN

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) has identified 40 personnel who are ready to be sent to help Australia combat its deadly bush fires.

JBPM director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said the selection was made after a coordination meeting with the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) yesterday.

“I believe we are well prepared as the selection of members has been done and the logistics (equipment) to be taken are the basic logistics identified to be suitable for fighting the blazes there.

“However, we are still waiting for an indication from the Australian authorities on whether we should go or not. If yes, we will extend the assistance to the country through the Prime Minister's Department with the help of the Foreign Ministry,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Mohammad Hamdan said JBPM was part of the team sent for Operation Haze to help fight forest fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia in 1997, which involved some 1,200 individuals comprising firefighters and personnel of other agencies.

On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said Malaysia was prepared to help Australia combat the massive bush fires ravaging parts of the country.

The bush fires were reported to have claimed at least 24 lives and destroyed nearly 2,000 houses across three states in Australia.

-- BERNAMA

 

TAGS: JBPM, firefighting, NADMA, bush fires, Australia