PUTRAJAYA: Some 11,000 Fire and Rescue Department officers and personnel at 315 stations nationwide will be on duty during the Chinese New Year celebration this year.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, in a speech read out by Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, said the department would also be working closely with other enforcement agencies during the integrated operation in conjunction with the festive season from Jan 18 to Feb 2.
“During the period, our responder team as well as Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) with the sufficient assets will conduct monitoring and patrol 15 strategic locations along the North-South Expressway, the East Coast Expressway (LPT) 1 and 2.
“Apart from ensuring that motorists would be given protection during their journey, the move will enable the department to deploy our respondent team immediately.
“The department is also conducting several programmes including exhibition at several rest and relax areas to create awareness among road users on fire safety,” said Zuraida.
Hamdan later told reporters that only 20 per cent of the department's personnel had their leave approved for the Chinese New Year celebration.
“PLUS, which is the operator of the highways, have provided the department with locations to station our men during this festive period.
“The department will work closely with other government agencies at these locations to provide assistance to road users,” he said.
Based on the department previous road accident statistics, Hamdan said he hoped the numbers of road accidents during the Chinese New Year celebration this year could be reduced by 20 per cent.
“Based on our statistics, the number cases involving injuries and deaths dropped by 16 per cent last year compared to 2018. We hope that for this year, we could be reduced further the cases by 20 per cent.
“Apart from putting out fire, the department also provide other forms of assistance including to those who are trapped in elevators and those whose houses were intruded by wild animals.”