KUALA LUMPUR – Fluency in Mandarin was an advantage for a fireman Mohd Fariszuan Jumaat, 22, from the Pudu Fire and Rescue Station here in his line of work.
Little did he realise that his mastery of Mandarin after studying at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Chung Hwa di Tawau, Sabah came to good use to dissuade a Chinese man from committing suicide by jumping off a building on Sept 8.
“I was tasked with communicating with the man (in Mandarin) and to persuade him using psychology and engaging him in a conversation.
“We also gave him water and cigarette to calm him before rescuing him,” he told Bernama when recounting the anxious moments he and other firemen experienced in the operation to rescue the man.
According to the eldest of three siblings, who had been a fireman for three years, other than his siblings, many of his relatives also went to Chinese schools.
Mohd Fariszuan and his colleague, Al-Hakim Ismail, 23, were met after receiving awards of appreciation from the president of the Malaysian Fire Protection Association, Teh Khay Leong, here.
The man was seen standing on a ledge on the 15th floor of the Seri Sarawak Public Housing flat on Sept 8 at 4 pm.
A Fire and Rescue team with two fire engines from the Pudu and Hang Tuah stations sped to the location after receiving a call from a member of the public and the man was saved at 5.20 pm.
A video on the success of the team went viral on Facebook and WhatsApp.
When asked how he was able to rescue the man in a tight space during the incident, Mohd Fariszuan said he only fell back on his training as a fireman.
“A fireman has to be calm and professional when faced with a tense situation as we work as a team,” he said.
Meanwhile, for Al-Hakim, of Kuala Krai, Kelantan, it was the first time he had encountered such a situation after being posted at the Pudu Fire and Rescue Station three years ago.
The 10th of 11 siblings said it was very difficult because they could not place an air bag or net at the base of the building due to the condition and shape of the building.
Also present during the ceremony were Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim and Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue director Khirudin Drahman. – BERNAMA