Special task force to probe fireman’s drowning at Mak Mandin jetty

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) has invited a trained task force and experts to form a special committee to investigate the tragic incident involving the drowning of a firefighter during maintenance work in Butterworth on Feb 23.

JBPM deputy director-general (Development) Datuk Ahmad Izram Osman said the committee comprises individuals with a profound understanding of the responsibilities of the Water Rescue Team (PPDA), to provide insightful recommendations to enhance the team’s operations.

He added that an internal investigation is already underway within JBPM, with the outcomes intended for internal improvements, particularly within the PPDA for future operation

“We are committed to examining the matter from all perspectives, encompassing facilities, training protocols, and the criteria for PPDA membership. Although there are existing prerequisites for joining the PPDA, which trainers must adhere to.

“We plan to further enhance these requirements to ensure heightened competency and a comprehensive skill set. This is to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future,“ he told reporters today.

On Feb 22, Mohd Izwan Illias, a member of the Water Rescue Team attached with the Butterworth Fire and Rescue Department drowned while doing maintenance work on a Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department boat at the Marine Base Jetty in Mak Mandin.

Ahmad Izram said that this incident, being the first of its kind during boat maintenance, underscores the necessity for enhancements in standard operating procedures (SOP) and training protocols.

“The investigation report is expected to be completed within a month,“ he stated.

Prior to this, Ahmad Izram, who also the Chairman of the JBPM Welfare Association, generously procured school supplies for the five children of the late Mohd Izwan, ranging from six to 16 years old at the Perda branch of Pusat Pakaian Hari Hari.

While the children expressed their longing for their father, the joy radiating from their faces was unmistakable. Ilham Zulfaqar Mohd Izwan, 16, conveyed heartfelt thanks on behalf of his siblings, acknowledging the support in acquiring school attire, bags, and shoes.

“This is the first time we are buying school supplies without our late father due to the unfortunate incident,“ he said.

Ilham Zulfaqar, the second son of Mohd Izwan, also misses the annual tradition of buying school supplies with his father.

He said, “My father asked me to go with him to buy school supplies this week because school is starting soon, but he could not take us. Today the fire department personnel came to help us buy, thank you to everyone.”

Meanwhile, Ahmad Izram assured that JBPM will not only sponsor school clothing but also festive attire for all five children during the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

Pusat Pakaian Hari Hari director Datuk Amilludin Latif said the five children of Mohd Izwan will become foster children of the clothing shop and will receive sponsorships for school clothes throughout their school years. -Bernama

JBPM deputy director-general (Development) Datuk Ahmad Izram Osman / BERNAMApix

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