SANDAKAN: The setting up of a volunteer fire and rescue team (PBS) in Kampung Pulau Keniogan, Beluran about four years ago, has boosted the island residents’ awareness on the dangers of fire.
The village youths set up the PBS after a major fire destroyed 40 houses in November 2006.
PBS chairman Lokman Madlis described the fire as a “black history” for the 1,000 residents on the island.
He said the PBS was set up in December 2010 after the residents realised the need to be aware of the dangers of fire and its early prevention.
According to Lokman, there was only one incident of fire in the village in October 2012, following the setting of the team, which had 50 members.
He said the PBS also helped to put out a fire on a nearby island at Terusan Sugut which destroyed five houses, and a fire at a Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd power plant on Pulau Tetabuan, both last year.
He recalled the PBS also rescued five fishermen in the waters off Puru-Puru Beluran when they went missing.
Lokman said he took the initiative to set up the PBS as there was an absence of a fire and rescue department in the district, adding that the nearest fire and rescue departments were in Sandakan and Kinabatangan.
He noted that the active involvement of youths in the village as PBS members enabled them to emerge as the best team thrice since 2012, at the Sabah-level Volunteer Fire and Rescue Convention.
The PBS is assisted and guided by the fire and rescue department, with backing from its patron and Beluran Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee.
Lokman said Ronald had provided funds to build a mini-fire and rescue department, complete with a bridge on Pulau Keniogan. – BERNAMA