News: Round-the-clock shift at Disaster Operations Unit in Shah Alam

The Star, 17 October 2012

ALTHOUGH Shah Alam has not been hit by flash floods for sometime now, Shah Alam City Council’s (MBSA) Disaster Operations Unit is on alert if the need for their services arises.

“Our team is always ready to face any situation at any time, like to clear fallen trees, help flood victims or rush to disaster areas,” said MBSA assistant enforcement officer and unit supervisor Che Kamal Hussin.

He said his team of 38 officers worked in three shifts, around the clock, starting from 8am to 4pm, from 4pm to 12am and from 12am to 8am.

The disaster unit is well equipped with six speed boats, a jet-ski and water pumps as well as chainsaws to cut fallen trees which are obstructing traffic after a downpour.

Life-jackets, safety lights and tents have also been stocked up in preparation for the rainy season.

It is Che Kamal’s job to ensure he has enough manpower even during major public holidays like during the upcoming Hari Raya Haji next week.

“The most recent incident that we had to cope with was on the second day of Hari Raya this year, when more than 10 trees fell due to rain and strong winds,

“Most of us were on leave but were recalled to help despite the festive period,” he said.

During the dry season, his officers are sent to the Fire and Rescue Services Department and occasionally to Kuala Lumpur City Hall to learn about rescue work.

He said of late there had been no major disasters after warning system were installed at Sungai Damansara and Sungai Klang which flows through the city.

“Before, places like TTDI Jaya were disaster prone but now the situation is very much under control,” he said, adding that his only concern was Sungai Rasah and Taman Mesra Tambahan in Section U1.

If a major disaster occurs in the area, Che Kamal said he would seek assistance from other councils.

Likewise, the team also helps other councils such as Klang Municipal Council which encountered floods in August.

The council has a disaster control centre based at Wisma MBSA and the public can its 24-hour hotline 03-5510 5811 for help.