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Malaysians Pay Tribute To Courageous, Selfless Firefighters As Rescue Effort Continues

Malaysians Pay Tribute To Courageous, Selfless Firefighters As Rescue Effort Continues

Firefighters received morale-boosting supplies from good Samaritans, including a ‘field kitchen’ by Uncle Kentang.

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Firefighters continue to work persistently searching for the remaining landslide victims at Father’s Organic Farm.

Undaunted by rain and fatigue, the firefighters remained steadfast in their dedication.

Firefighters working on search and rescue efforts while under the rain at Father’s Organic Farm. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Many have not changed clothes since day one of the disaster, nor did they take a shower as the search and rescue (SAR) effort enters day three.

As true good Samaritans, their main focus is to find the remaining victims as hopes wear thin.

A firefighter takes a quick meal with his gear donned during a short pause in the search and rescue effort due to heavy rain. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Speaking anonymously, a firefighter at the scene said they are well trained and prepared to endure weariness.

There are accommodations in nearby towns where the firefighters can rest for the night, but for the firefighters, there is no need for that.

Service to others is the core of our job. If it means taking a nap wherever we can in the course of duty, that’s nothing. It is not for lack of equipment and facilities, but rather, it’s because our first priority is to save lives and the situation is most urgent.

A firefighter on his teammates being lauded by the public for their selfless service throughout the Batang Kali landslide disaster.

The firefighter commented on a photo of his comrades huddling together as they took a nap out of sheer exhaustion.

The photo has since gone viral on social media, with netizens saying their efforts reveal more than just the help-thy-neighbour bravery.

He said it was not for lack of equipment and facilities.

The disaster site has been a beehive of activities, with media personnel standing for any latest news.

Social activist Kuan Chee Heng and his team also played their part in expressing appreciation to the firefighters.

Kuan, known as Uncle Kentang, brought supplies to the firefighters for a simple ‘field kitchen’.

Uncle Kentang (left) preparing hot drinks and cooking instant noodles for firefighters at Father’s Organic Farm. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The supplies included gas stoves, pots, coffee, condensed milk, instant noodles, chocolates and biscuits.

Kuan said it is a simple gesture to the nation’s modern-day heroes.

They deserve recognition and appreciation for risking their lives to save others. Their willingness to endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining should never be taken for granted.

Social activist Kuan Chee Heng to TRP on the sacrifice of fire fighters.
Uncle Kentang loading up a volunteer ambulance with food supplies, including instant noodles, for the firefighters on duty in Batang Kali. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Kuan also pointed out that firefighters’ schedules require much sacrifice; often working 24-hour shifts, they leave behind their families to serve others.

Death Toll Mounts

The current death toll is 24, comprising 5 boys, 2 girls, 4 men and 13 women.

At the time of writing, there are still 9 missing victims.

A total of 61 victims were rescued.

Three more victims were found in the search operation today (17 December).

Disciplined and faithful, a firefighter takes a short break to perform the wudu (ritually clean the body before praying). (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The firefighters coordinated the SAR operations with the police, who also assisted the many journalists, photographers and videographers as best they could.

The police were courteous and professional even as they ensured standard operating procedure (SOP) was always maintained.

The Special Civil Defence Force (PASPA) and the Civil Defence Force in Hulu Selangor also assisted in SAR operations.

A PASPA personnel takes a breather during the SAR operation in Father’s Organic Farm. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

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