GEORGE TOWN: Despite getting RM50mil from the revised Budget 2023, Fire and Rescue Department staffer Muhammad Syahir Jamaludin hopes that the Federal Government can provide them with the latest equipment to better perform during rescue operations.

The 32-year-old fireman said there are still some areas that need to be upgraded, especially with the nature of their work.

“For example, in Penang, we need smaller and faster boats to use in rescue work during flash floods.

“We also need a high-tech water pump that we can use during fire operations.

“Take for example the massive landfill like Pulau Burung, which was on fire early last year, a high-tech water pump will be very useful,” he said yesterday.

A fireman for more than 10 years, Muhammad Syahir hoped that the RM50mil allocation could also be used to upgrade its assets.

Another member of the Fire and Rescue Department, B. Suresh, 41, echoed a similar view, saying that it is high time they were provided with more modern equipment.

“We’re happy with the allocation, and hopefully it will be used to upgrade our equipment and assets,” he said.

Meanwhile, Civil Defence Force (APM) officer Lt (PA) Ng In Heang, 51, said the APM assets, especially those used in the operations, also need to be upgraded.

“We need modern equipment to conduct search and rescue operations (SAR), especially when people are trapped under the rubble or in floodwaters,” he said.

Ng, who has been in the force for more than 30 years, said every state should have modern equipment ready at their disposal.

His compatriot, Sgt HH Yeoh, 57, said rescue efforts now are totally different from what they faced 20 years ago.

“We definitely need to change our equipment because the operation and rescue work is now more challenging,” he added.

Under the revised Budget 2023, the Federal Government has allocated RM150mil to the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to procure assets, improve warning systems and disseminate aid to people.