BACHOK: The Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) has approved an increase in the Diving Incentive Payment (BIM) to RM200 for the Water Rescue Team (PPDA) of the Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) with immediate effect, said Minister Nga Kor Ming (pix).

He said the increase from the previous RM100 incentive was to motivate divers who play a crucial role in search and rescue (SAR) operations for drowning victims.

“Last year, we recorded a total of 255 victims who died due to drowning while there are 628 PPDA deployed in 46 fire stations nationwide so far.

“The ministry, through the Water Activities Safety Council (MKAA), is working to reduce the number of accidents and deaths in water recreational areas such as waterfalls, beaches, hillsides, rivers and hills,” he added.

He said this after the MKAA launching ceremony at Pantai Senok here today, which was also attended by KPKT secretary-general Datuk M Noor Azman Taib.

Nga said Kelantan JBPM received an allocation of RM2 million for the maintenance and upgrading of six fire stations in the state including stations in Kota Bharu, Machang, Rantau Panjang and Kuala Krai.

“This provision is to ensure that the red warriors (firefighters) are always ready to execute rescue in water or during fire incidents.

“This is because the fire department is also one of the agencies given attention under the 2023 Budget, including 100 units of Swift Water Rescue Sets for use in training at the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Academy,” he said.

Earlier, Nga witnessed a simulation of a rescue operation for drowning victims at sea by the state JBPM involving JBPM assets such as the AW 109 helicopter and the amphibious rapid intervention boat and the Kevlar boat. - Bernama

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