This article is mainly the opinion of our reader Yeap Ming Liong
The Civil Defence Force of Malaysia recently announced that a total of 1.7 million members of the public have been trained via the Civil Defence Emergency Response Team (CDERT) initiative at the community level.
This figure is encouraging, but it must be intensified especially in light of the imminent North-East Monsoon season.
CDERTs are not something new. It has been established and promoted since 2006 and the Civil Defence Force has always welcomed participation from not only members of the public but from the private sector.
In essence, CDERTs are divided into four categories namely CDERT-G (Government Sector), CDERT-P (Private Sector), CDERT-N (Non-Government Organisation) and CDERT-C (Community). The categories are self-explanatory.
Natural disasters are unpredictable. It is something out of our control. The nation is only just recovering from the economic wounds left behind by the Covid-19 pandemic. We must and should assist the authorities in our own humble way and that includes volunteering sincerely without expecting anything in return.
Members of the public, who have emergency response knowledge and training, will definitely be more prepared to face natural disasters and aid the authorities in disaster management.
They may very well act as first responders before the arrival of the authorities.
The establishment of CDERTs among others helps equip members of the public with emergency and disaster management training in order for them to provide the necessary first response thus reducing the risk of property damage and the loss of lives.
This element of preparedness towards any untoward incidents or emergencies at the initial stage will lead to an enhanced level of “precaution and preventive measure” in the community.