TAWAU – The Civil Defence Department (JPAM) is working on increasing its membership to reach the target of two million people by next year, said its director-general Datuk Ogu Salim Omar.
He said efforts to increase the number of members was in line with the rebranding of JPAM to the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM), from Sept 1.
“So far we have over one million members. We hope the change of name from JPAM to APM can motivate the members to be more committed to serving the public more effectively,” he told reporters after the 2016 National Sovereignty Medal and Ranks for Non Commissioned Officers award ceremony here today.
At the same time, Ogu Salim said the department was also in efforts to expand the number of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), especially in high risk areas across the country.
“These emergency response teams would be the first to provide help in case of any incidents occurring in their respective areas before rescue teams from other agencies arrive.
“CERT members are selected from among the residents, including village heads, and they will be trained to perform basic rescue operations to mitigate the risk of loss of life and property,” he added.
He said currently a total of 860 CERTs had been established including in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, and all state directors nationwide had been instructed to intensify efforts to set up the teams.
Commenting on today’s ceremony, Ogu Salim said it was held to recognise and appreciate the service excellence of members, in addition to providing motivation to other members.
“It is the government’s recognition and appreciation to our heroes who served during ‘Ops Daulat’ in Lahad Datu. Indeed, the sacrifice and the spirit of JPAM members during the bloody incident in Tanduo is very much appreciated,” he said.
A total of 50 members received the National Sovereignty Medal (PKN) and 84 members of various ranks in Sabah received a promotion and Civil Defence certificates of appreciation. – BERNAMA