JOHOR BARU: Firefighters, both full-time and volunteers, are reminded to set aside their political beliefs when carrying out their duties.

Johor Fire and Rescue Department acting director Mohd Rizal Buang said all cases of emergencies should be tended to without regard for the victim’s background.

“When we receive an emergency call, we do not ask the person on the other end about their race, background or political beliefs. We just carry out our duties to help the people.

“There are also times when we have to assist foreigners in need because as firefighters, it is our job to provide assistance to all.

“Those who want to play politics, please join a political party, not the Fire and Rescue Department,” he said at the department’s monthly assembly at its headquarters here yesterday.

While he had not received any reports of the department’s staff mixing politics with their duties so far, he wanted to give a reminder to all, Mohd Rizal added.

He also said more than 500 firefighters in Johor would be casting their ballots via post in the 15th General Election (GE15).

All leave would be frozen for the department’s 1,300-odd staff from Nov 4-30 in conjunction with the monsoon season and GE15, he added.

“Due to the freeze, some of our staff are unable to return to their hometowns in Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak to vote, so they will be doing so by postal vote.

“For those on duty near their polling station in Johor, they will be given some time off during the day to cast their vote before resuming work,” he said, adding that this was to ensure that the department had adequate strength to respond to emergencies.

“I will also have a courtesy call with the Johor police chief to discuss and coordinate our plans to take on the flood season and the general election,” he said.