Monday, 30 August 2010

Bukit Tabuh Rescue...Again

Yesterday, Bilik Gerakan JPAM Dang Wangi, received an emergency call at 1512hrs about a climber injured after falling approximately 150 feet from the top. First response team arrived at 1545hrs. Total strength was 18 from JPAM and 8 from PDRM (police).

Bukit Tabuh is quite a favourite spot for climbers. However, due to its terrain, its also a dangerous climb. Rocks are jagged, trails are steep and some areas are very narrow. To add to all that, one false move, you could end up in a ravine easily 100ft below.

Since it is the Holy month of Ramadhan, most (?) of the rescue team members were fasting. When it was time to break fast, only water, cigarettes and dates for them.

The casualty was rescued using 11mm Kern-mantle rope, SKED stretcher and was manually carried all the way down the steep Bukit Tabuh. .

A trip to Balai Polis Taman Melawati was next for the climbers to have their statements recorded.

At approximately 2230hrs, the team members finally had a proper 'buka puasa' courtesy of the police at the local mamak restaurant nearby.

During the 'buka puasa' session, we (Tn SK, Tn Husni and myself) had a discussion with the SM from Balai Polis Melawati on ways to overcome the frequent incidents on Bukit Tabuh. One thing is for sure, the climbers did not report themselves at the police station before embarking on their climb.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Part 2 - Joint Training Exercise

Part of the Technical Team
Continuing from Part 1....

On D-Day, I had to join my team later on Saturday after work. The team had three 4WDs and 2 scramblers.. all privately owned by its members. It was a good mix in our team, whom had worked together in various Ops.

The participants were broken into 'syndicates', of which each syndicate was made up of members from all 3 states and with different areas of specialty ... medic, survival, map and compass, high rope rescue. From the starting point, they were given the grid reference (GR- Golf Romeo) of checkpoint 1, where they shall be given GF to food dump and check point 2, where finally the GR to check point 3 (Dubai) is given.

The knife is used for rogue teams unwilling to cooperate...hahaha

I was attached to check point 2, from the off road track, go off that off road track (is this making sense to you?), go 45 degrees downhill to the river down below. My task was to ensure that no team passes the river without reporting to check point 2, which was situated across the river 100m from where I was.

Natural Jacuzzi
Since it was warm and the river looks soooo cool and inviting, after I had finished my task, I went for a quick dip in the crystal clear river.

Tech team after a meal of 'rendang landak'

During the exercise, the tech team had a taste of 'rendang landak' and BBQ Lamb. I was happily eating when a sudden discovery of a few strand of fur automatically shuts off my appetite. Luckily it  happened after a plate of hot rice had gone down my esophagus.

A brief closing ceremony was officiated by Senior Asst Commissioner II (CD) Roslan bin Wahab, Pengarah Bahagian Pengurusan Angkatan JPAM. After that, its the Technical Team's photo session...and as evident by the pictures, though tired, we all had a great always.

The 'Official' picture

The 'Relaxed' picture

The 'Variety' pictures

Friday, 13 August 2010

Part 1 - Joint Training Exercise

Recently, a joint training exercise was conducted by the Malaysian Civil Defence Department (JPAM - Jabatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia) involving 3 states, namely WP Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Perak. Its a series of joint training required to be conducted every 2 months to enhance the capability and agility of its members, especially in standardizing and addressing cross boundaries operational issues.

Since this time around, WP Kuala Lumpur was the host of the event, I was involved as a member of the Technical Team, comprising of 20 team members. Our task...was to design, implement and supervise the training, a daunting task since the total participants was 200 in strength. Nevertheless, in the true 'esprit de corp' spirit, we accepted the task with great enthusiasm.

Barret HF Man pack

Weeks before the event, on a beautiful Sunday, we went in for a short recce trip, a one day trip to Batang Kali. Since communication is essential in any training exercise, we brought along the newly procured Barret HF man pack to test out. There were three 4WDs... mine (Isuzu Trooper), the camp's (Toyota BJ) and JPAM's (Hilux). From the Orang Asli kampung, we had to cross 2 rivers to get to Kem Hamzah, the forward base camp.

After having 'Durian Hutan' courtesy of the Orang Asli, we started to head for road style. Abang Hamzah had warned us that the road has deteriorated tremendously. Being 4WD enthusiast, that's like an irresistible invitation to pitch our skills and knowledge against mother earth. Little did we know that it has been raining for a few days, making it super slippery and muddy. As soon as we made it pass checkpoint 2, we came to a very large boulder. The BJ almost tilted over sideways. Never mind, we thought, it has a PTO winch. Alas, the winch didn't work as the gearing  went kaput. Thus, what else to do but do some bicep building manual winching.

The BJ and my 'anak gajah' facing their respective challenges

Then a decision was made to leave the BJ and Hilux at checkpoint 2, and went ahead using my 'anak gajah'. From the boulder onwards, most of the movement was by winching. Since I was using a high speed winch, it uses a lot of battery juice. I made a dumb mistake when I forgot to switch back the secondary battery with a higher capacity battery. After 7 times winching and in 4 ft of mud, the batteries just gave up, right in the middle of nowhere.

The calm face of a guy with his 4WD stuck in 4ft mud with no winch power

To cut the story short, I had to call in 4WD friends to help me out...and they came, recovered my vehicle and left, without any payment....try to beat that.

To be continued......Part 2
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