Hari Raya or not, these Malaysian volunteer firefighters are on standby to help in emergencies

·4-min read
The local volunteer firefighters group — also known as Pasukan Bomba Sukarela — was formed solely to assist local fire departments in handling emergencies. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa
The local volunteer firefighters group — also known as Pasukan Bomba Sukarela — was formed solely to assist local fire departments in handling emergencies. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — They are usually the first response team to be called in for action in case of emergencies especially in secluded areas.

However, these local volunteer firefighters, also known as Pasukan Bomba Sukarela (PBS), are sometimes overlooked by society.

The PBS was formed to assist the local fire department in handling emergencies, and they’re often formed in community areas that are quite far from the nearest fire department.

During pre-Covid years, Hari Raya would usually mean a busy month for these unsung heroes but even though there are fewer cases these past few years, that doesn’t mean there are no cases at all.

Pasukan Bomba Sukarela Kepong (PBSK) chief Kelvin Tung said for every Hari Raya month before the pandemic, they would usually send a team to assist the local bomba with their Ops Raya.

A team of volunteers would usually be dispatched along with a firetruck near the Rawang toll plaza at the Utara-Selatan expressway to assist firemen with road emergencies or accidents.

“Every year and almost every night we would work together with bomba for Ops Raya.

“But since the movement control order last year, there’s no Ops Raya and we would just have to standby at our own station for Hari Raya,” Tung told Malay Mail.

The members of the Pasukan Bomba Sukarela Kepong (PBSK) pose for a photograph in front of their station. — Picture by Arif Zikri
The members of the Pasukan Bomba Sukarela Kepong (PBSK) pose for a photograph in front of their station. — Picture by Arif Zikri

PBSK has over 35 registered members and they are amongst the most well-equipped stations in Selangor.

“We have equipment for road accidents such as cutters, we’ve got search and rescue equipment.

“We even have equipment for bush or wildfires, and all of this is from our own pocket as we’re a voluntary team.

“Besides that, we also have an ambulance service that is on standby during emergencies as they can straight away attend to medical needs of the victims,” Tung said.

He added that they would often do collections amongst themselves for the equipment and maintenance.

According to Tung, they normally get five to six emergency calls per week and during the last few weeks leading to Hari Raya, most of the calls were regarding road accidents.

During Hari Raya, most of the calls they get is either fire from factories or houses which were caused by fireworks and short circuits.

PBSK would usually get emergency calls assigned to them from the Selayang Fire Department as they’re under their supervision and it is required for them to report every incident back to the fire department.

“Kepong stands in the middle.

“We would usually cover areas nearby the borders such as Jinjang, Kepong, Sri Hartamas, Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Manjalara,” he said adding that, they’re also working together with other volunteer firefighters such as Gombak, Bangi and Saujana Utama.

Members of the Pasukan Bomba Sukarela Saujana Utama (PBSSU) pose for a photograph in front of their station. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa
Members of the Pasukan Bomba Sukarela Saujana Utama (PBSSU) pose for a photograph in front of their station. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa

Meanwhile, Pasukan Bomba Sukarela Saujana Utama (PBSSU)station chief Azman Razak said they usually covered cases in rural areas such as Bukit Darah, Ladang Tuan Mee, Desa Coalfield, Puncak Alam and Alam jaya.

Most of the cases they handle usually involve wild animals such as capturing snakes and lizards in people’s housing areas.

“For us, during Hari Raya, there have not been any huge cases so far.

“The most common cases we’ve received involve snakes, saving people from locked rooms and locked cars, things like that.

“But we will still have a team ready at the station,” Azman said.

However, as most of the PBSSU members are Muslims, it’s been a tradition for them to come together at the station every year during Hari Raya to cook lemang and rendang which will be shared amongst their members.

“Since the MCO, there are more members available during Hari Raya and last year we’ve made over 100 pieces of lemang for Hari Raya.

“As for this year, we’re planning to sell our lemang to the public by opening up a booth outside our station.

“It’s a fun way to keep the Hari Raya spirit alive and at the same time, the earnings can be used for our maintenance since we’re still a voluntary body,” Azman said.

PBSSU was formed back in 2014 and back then, Azman and his team were volunteering for the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) and they were summoned to assist the local fire department with a bushfire in Alam Jaya.

“We were there for days.

“What inspired me to form our own PBS team is while we were handling the bushfire with the fire department, suddenly they were called in to handle another emergency somewhere else and they’ve no choice but to leave us there.

“So, from there, we decided to form our own PBS team to assist the local fire department.

“This is also because the nearest fire department is in Sungai Buloh which is about 30 minutes from here while the other nearest fire department is in Bestari jaya and they would need 45 minutes to get here during peak hours,” Azman said.

Since the inception of PBSSU in 2014, they now have 35 registered members and have been the first response team in the area for any emergencies.

Related Articles Fire and Rescue Dept members who violate MCO SOP to face disciplinary action, says D-G Five days on, Selangor bomba still fighting container blaze off Pulau Carey Kuala Langat Selatan forest fire spreads to over 40 hectares, says Selangor Fire Dept

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting