Selangor APM recruiting more volunteers despite financial constraints

DAWN CHAN

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor chapter of the Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM) is actively recruiting volunteers to come on board the force where training is provided to render emergency and natural disaster services to the people.

Its director Colonel Ghazali Abd Rahman said there was a huge constraint in terms of forking out allowances for the volunteers but this was the situation in all states, not just in Selangor. At the moment, the volunteers who were officers were paid RM7.80 hourly while personnel gets RM6 an hour when they attended training or took part in operations.

“Therefore when we get applications from external agencies for our services, we will be frank and tell them we do not have a special budget. We will discuss with the applicant if it is possible for them to bear the cost of the allowances should they need our services.

“This is so as in sporting events where they need the officers and personnel to be on standby. We will try out best to accommodate them,” he told the New Straits Times Press.

Ghazali, however, was happy to note that there were close to 60,000 registered volunteers in the Selangor APM’s system although it has limitation of funds.

There are 163 full time volunteers who are office as well as operations based.

Their main tasks are to be part of the National Disaster Management Committee, react to emergency services received through 999 and to ensure civil defence emergency actions are taken, render special services in Ops Bantu, Ops Selamat as well as be on standby as medics and its mobile medic team.

“We have a total of 58,500 volunteers in Selangor and our recruitment drives are open at all times. There is no deadline whatsoever and volunteers can sign up during our recruitment drives or via our website and select which of the seven districts in Selangor that they are interested to serve in.

“There is an increase of volunteers in the past few years but we are not setting any target on how many we should have as this is purely on volunteer basis. Whoever applies to be our volunteer, we will gladly process their the application. Of course, we aim to get as many volunteers as we can,” said Ghazali.

He said that the volunteers come from various walks of life and backgrounds such as school teachers, technicians, nurses, part time reporters as well as enforcement personnel.

Up to July this year, Ghazali said a total of 4,015 volunteers who werefrom Selangor had undergone training with them.

He said volunteers will undergo half day training modules such as preparations during emergencies, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, water rescue, rescue operations in high-rise buildings and confined spaces.

He said a factor that needed to be looked into when providing basic training was financial constraints.

“We have to see if we have the budget to carry out training. It will be conducted in phases if we have restrictions,” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd