PUTRAJAYA, May 4 — Like everyone else, the Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) has had to adjust to ‘new normals’ because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
JBPM director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said quick response to fires, saving victims of road, domestic and industrial accidents will remain the department’s priority even during the time of COVID-19, but the firefighters today face new challenges as they are now also frontliners in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
“In times of emergency, when we are saving a victim, we do not know if he is a COVID-19 case or not. So the JBPM crew must take maximum precaution even when it is an ordinary emergency,” he told Bernama here.
“Which is why the self-protection measures and the standard operating procedure must be complied by every JBPM member involved in COVID-19 operations as their job is not as ‘normal’ as before,” he said.
Now, whenever the firefighters get an emergency call, they are required to put on personal protective equipment (PPE) even when it is a normal emergency case.
For instance, Mohammad Hamdan said, to save victims who are trapped in a road accident or fire, the firefighters will now have to wear face shields, masks and gloves.
“When they go out on their operations, they have to conduct the self-disinfecting process,and the fire-fighting training sessions conducted within the premises of the fire station or online now require them to observe social distancing,” he said.