Malaysian firefighters STORM to victory in S’pore

Members of the Special Tactical Operation and Rescue Team of Malaysia (STORM) clinched two medals, a gold and silver, in two separate competitions in Singapore.


STORM members holding the nation’s flag after winning the gold in the ‘Rip It Off’ challenge at the SGFPC in Singapore. PHOTO: THE STAR

December 18, 2023

JOHOR BARU – They are part of an elite squad of firemen who have handled dozens of road traffic accidents including freeing victims from mangled vehicles.

The five-man team, from a pool of 481 members of the Special Tactical Operation and Rescue Team of Malaysia (STORM) nationwide, did the country proud when it clinched two medals, a gold and silver, in two separate competitions in Singapore.

Fire officer Alimaddia Bukri, who is also the team’s manager and coach, said they emerged champion in the “Rip It Off” challenge and clinched silver in the “Braveheart” competition during the bi-annual Singapore Global Firefighters and Paramedic Challenge (SGFPC) in the island republic.

“This is a huge achievement as the last time we won was in 2016.

“A total of 14 teams from 12 countries participated in the events this year,” Alimaddia, who is also with STORM, told The Star.

He said that the gold medal winners were firemen Baharum Muhamad Hasim, Umar Farook Saadon, Fadzil Mohd Jamal and Muhammad Shafiq Mohamad. The silver medal was won by fireman Eril Smith Nan.

The firemen are stationed in Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu and Penang. 

He added that some of those selected for these events had handled at least 500 road accidents including freeing trapped victims from cars during their 10 years of service.

“The ‘Rip It Off’ challenge sees a team of four firemen help free victims trapped inside a vehicle involved in an accident,” he said, adding that marks were given based on how they worked together.

As for the ‘Braveheart’ challenge, it tests the endurance and physical fitness of a fireman in trying to save a trapped victim in a mock three-storey building, he said.

“This requires them to carry ladders and hoses to free a victim and then rescue them,” he said, adding that the firemen also needed to use their breathing apparatus and crawl through confined spaces.

He said their closest competitors in the event, held between Nov 20 and 25, were teams from Singapore and Australia.

Alimaddia, who has participated in previous SGFPC, said such events promoted cooperation among regional fire fighters and enable them to learn new ways or techniques in saving lives.

He said there were also teams from the Malaysia Civil Defence Force and Special Malaysian Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART).

Besides a trophy and medal, he said each firemen involved also received a departmental service award.

Meanwhile Fire and Rescue department deputy director-general (operations) Datuk Nor Hisham Mohammad who commended his men for their good performance at the SGFPC, said that next year the department planned to incorporate its Multi-Skilled Team (MUST) into STORM.

“MUST personnel consist of about 500 personnel and they are presently with our airwing unit.

“We hope to combine them into STORM teams which are already deployed in all states nationwide,” he said, adding that not all MUST personnel would be joining STORM as there would be a selection process.

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