BUKIT MERTAJAM: A total of 1,696 Fire and Rescue Department officers and personnel throughout the country were infected by Covid-19 since the pandemic hit the country in March last year, with two recorded deaths.

Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director Datuk Seri Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said 68 officers and personnel were currently being treated for Covid-19, adding that the two deaths – a senior officer serving in Sabah and another officer of other rank serving in Negeri Sembilan – were due to infections from community and were not work related.

“Those who were positive were not infected at their own fire stations but were community infections… most of them underwent quarantine at home as they did not have serious symptoms,” he told reporters after a department award presentation ceremony here on Monday (Nov 22).

A total of 105 officers and personnel in Penang were awarded their medals at the event, which was also attended by Penang JBPM director Saadon Mokhtar.

Mohammad Hamdan said 98% of the department’s 14,500 officers and personnel throughout the country had completed their vaccinations and 26% had received their booster shots, adding that the department encouraged booster shots as it offered more protection to firefighters while they performed their duties on the field.

Meanwhile, he said the department had established a high-rise building rescue squad in Kuala Lumpur to help those attempting suicide following a rise in cases due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The squad is not only equipped with special equipment for high-rise building rescues but have been trained physically and psychologically as they are required to dissuade those attempting to commit suicide,” he added. – Bernama

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