Fighting fire and saving lives

Hazinan bin Md Yusof, born and raised in Melaka, is a second-in-command fireman stationed at Balai BOMBA Subang Jaya who has 33 years of experience in the field. He describes being a fireman as being a noble man’s job, and it’s the contentment he gets from being able to save lives that has kept him going for more than three decades and counting.

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Being a fireman goes beyond putting out fires and saving people from burning buildings; these days, they are also trained to be rescuers and each time a fire truck is called to a scene, they are always accompanied by an ambulance. Their training, Hazinan reveals, has also gotten tougher and today’s fire stations are also better equipped.

These, he says, are the results of learning from past events such as the firecracker factory explosion in 1991, Highlands Tower tragedy in 1993, and Bukit Antarabangsa landslide in 2008. Back then, they were lacking in terms of equipment, training and manpower but those unfortunate incidents served as learning curves for the fire department and led to their strengthening their resources in all areas. As such, they are now much better prepared when faced with similar situations.

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Hazinan believes that every fireman follows a protocol and that they give their 100% in every task that’s assigned to them, from attending to all calls for help to risking their lives to save others. Their sacrifices often go unnoticed; many firemen are assigned to different states and thus have to leave their families behind. Hazinan himself has relocated to Selangor previously, then back to Melaka before being stationed at Subang Jaya in 2002.

The father of three and grandfather of one (his grandchild is only a month old) turns 55 this year but has no plans to retire just yet. To him, saving lives is not about being recognised but is a privilege. Putting his life on the line every day is not just a job, but a lifetime principle. “I will only retire when I turn 60; I want to continue saving lives for as long as I can.” – BY NICOLE ALLISSON AND NICHIREN T PILLAI

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