One fire station for every 10,000 people in the works, says minister

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin planting a plant at the Penang Fire and Rescue Department during her visit to the state fire department headquarters in Batu Kawan today

BUTTERWORTH: The federal government plans to build a fire station for every 10,000 people in the country to enable faster response to emergencies.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the proposal was to build a Class D type fire station at selected areas.

She said a guideline was being developed so that the plan could be implemented nationwide.

Zuraida said that ideally, the first responders from a Class D fire station would supplement firefighters from Class A or Class B sectors.

According to her, the class system being used for fire stations was based on population density.

For instance, a Class A station is usually located in densely populated cities while classes B to D are located in places with fewer people.

“Currently, fire stations are usually built on requests from the state and local governments, depending on land availability.

“With this new guideline in place, we expect to improve the fire department’s response time,” she said during a visit to the Penang Fire and Rescue Department headquarters in Batu Kawan here today.

On another matter, Zuraida said a request to raise critical allowances for firemen was being looked at by the Public Services Department.

She said previously that her ministry had allocated RM35 million for critical allowances that would benefit 13,000 firemen.

The allowances, if approved, would ensure firemen received at least RM250 each monthly, it was reported.