JOHOR BARU: The Johor Civil Defence Force (APM) is confident of achieving its target of recruiting 90,000 members before the coming Hari Raya holidays.
State Civil Defence Force director Colonel Mat Zin Bujang believed that the agency will meet its target, which was set by Minister in the Prime Minister Department's Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim recently.
He said currently the numbers of APM volunteers in Johor is 67,699.
"This means that we have met 75 per cent of the target and will get the remaining 25 per cent this year," he said after attending the agency's monthly assembly at the Home Ministry complex in Setia Tropika.
Mat Zin said the need for having more volunteers is to meet the demand for skilled rescuers that can be the first responder in times of crisis.
"The volunteers will get essential first aid and crisis management training to become an effective first responder and this is important for the agency, especially when teamwork is the core of our daily operation especially during crisis," he said.
He added with the second phase of the upgrading project of the agency's Pusat Latihan Jabatan Pertahanan Awam Wilayah Selatan (Pulapas), which is expected to be complete within the next two and a half years, the agency can easily trained 500 volunteers for every session in the future.
"At the moment, the intake for Pulapas in Kluang is only 150 for every training session. When the upgrading works is completed, we can definitely increase the recruitment intake and personnel training in future," he said.
Mat Zin also said the agency will be disbursing the RM317,000 in financial aid from the Federal government to flood and storm victims Johor Baru, Mersing, Muar, Kota Tinggi and Batu Pahat, comprising of 634 families, by end of the month.
He added that each of the affected families will get RM500 for property loss and damages to their homes.
"For the victims in Segamat, Tangkak and Kluang, their applications are still being reviewed and will be distributed accordingly later on," he said.