KOTA BARU: The Fire and Rescue Department is monitoring the increasing number of its personnel who are suffering from mental stress. Director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said although it had not reached a critical stage, efforts by the department to set up counselling services had helped to reduce stress levels.
“The nature of their job, as well as working on 12-hour shifts and being on constant standby, have all resulted in psychological issues among firemen.
“We have taken several measures, such as introducing mentor and mentee programmes, rest and relaxation excursions and debriefing sessions to reduce their stress,” Wan Mohd Nor said after handing out excellence awards to 41 outstanding firemen here yesterday.
He also said that firemen who suffered from sleep deprivation were more likely to experience mental problems.
“A local university did a survey on occupational hazards in Malaysia and identified that firemen faced severe stress owing to the hiirregular hours and demands required by the job.
“There are times when my men have had to pick up pieces of human flesh and put them into plastic bags and this takes a toll,” he said in explaining the high stress levels.
On another matter, Wan Mohd Nor, said 30 water tankers had been stationed in major towns around the country to address the lack of water during emergencies.
He said the water tankers would come in handy for fire-fighting activities during the dry season and the department had taken measures to ensure that more tankers were placed in all fire and rescue services stations.
Source : Click