Malaysian firemen meet Nepali counterpart for International Firefighters Day

FERNANDO FONG


KATHMANDU: Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department personnel paid a courtesy call to their Nepalese counterpart in conjunction with the International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) today.


The team was led by Pahang Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin, who described the visit as "a fostering of closer ties with firefighters from around the world."


"This is a good opportunity for us to exchange knowledge and learn from each other on the challenges of firefighting and rescue efforts," he said in a speech at the capital city's fire brigade in Basantapur here.


Dressed in full firefighting attire, the firefighters sang the national anthem and the department's official song.


Their Nepalese counterpart were led by Kathmandu fire station chief Kishor Kumar Bhattarai.


Kishor said he and his men were honoured by the visit as it was the first time they received a visit from foreign firefighters.


"Even though we are from different countries and speak different languages, we share the same passion.


"This is the largest delegation we had ever received from overseas" said Kishor, who received training on Hazmat (hazardous material) from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Academy in Kuala Kubu Bharu several months ago.


Also present were a team of media personnel from Malaysia led by Pahang Media Club president Datuk Nik Naizi Husin and staff from the Health Ministry.


Nik Naizi said the media is happy to help play a role in recognising and honouring the sacrifices that firefighters make.


"They are our unsung heroes, dedicating their lives to ensure that our communities and environment are safe.


"We certainly need to thanked them for their contributions," he said.


Together, they had recently reached the Annapurna Base Camp in what had been touted as a record breaking feat involving the most number of trekkers to reach the ABC, one of the most popular treks in the Annapurna region.