Asia Pulp & Paper has been using the Integrated Fire Management (IFM) strategy to prevent and manage forest fires around its concession areas. We have done our best to design this strategy to be as effective as possible, and you know you can rely on it. But it is heroes like this that make it happen.
Meet Iwan and Eldi Ramadanis, our firefighter squad members tasked with fire monitoring. They’ve not only have proven physical and mental prowess, but they qualified to join the squad for their skills, eagerness, and persistence as well.
Iwan and Eldi begin their daily activities at 8 AM every day, exploring the Kayan concession in West Kalimantan to collect and provide hotspot data around the area. Aside from the usual schedule, they have to be on constant vigil, be it day or night. Given that their role is very crucial as the first responders when there's a fire.
"We patrol a radius of 24 kilometres using either cars or motorbikes. But to date, we’ve never encountered any fires; this area is still considered safe. Members from the Community Fire Prevention (also known as Masyarakat Peduli Api) participate in our patrols," said Iwan, who is originally from Sambas.
Time and energy are not the only sacrifices for the greater good. They also need to be prepared to risk their life, if a day comes when they eventually have to deal with the fire. If it ever occurs, a single area could take up to 6-10 hours to be extinguished and mopped (cooling process). During these critical hours, they would have to endure the burns from the sparks that make contact with their turnout pants and jackets.
As dangerous as it is, it does take a special kind of pride to be a firefighter. It’s a noble task which not all people could or would do.
Iwan and Eldi are two individuals that make the thousands of firefighters that risk their lives for our future.
"To be able to preserve, safeguard, and protect the area from fire is a matter of pride," said both of them.
Let's hope that they would not have to face any fires in their area or elsewhere, fingers crossed. We can help to prevent fires by being more careful and vigilant. Let's protect and preserve the environment together!