JENJAROM: Buddhist group Fo Guang Shan Malaysia is the first religious group to have set up a civil defense emergency response team to embark on relief missions.
Selangor civil defense department director Mohd Yusoff Samad handed over a civil defense flag to the Fo Guang Shan team with a drill carried out on the spot to demonstrate the process of rescuing an injured person and later transferring him onto an ambulance.
An operation center was also launched concurrently.
The team members will be undergoing training to provide first aid services in an emergency.
Mohd Yusoff said the Fo Guang Shan emergency response team would be part of the civil defense network in crisis relief missions.
After 15 years of relief work, Ven Jue Cheng said the emergency response team is finally established.
“We will be there wherever there is a crisis,” said Ven Jue Cheng, who is the Chief Abbess of Fo Guang Shan for Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Ven Jue Cheng led a team of 12 members to Sichuan after an earthquake in 2007. Without proper skills, the team was learning how to rescue people in the Chinese province.
Since then, the team has travelled to Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to participate in local relief missions.
The Fo Guang Shan civil defense team currently has a total of 70 members. The team is equipped with four units of lifeboats and an ambulance, said Dong Zen Temple’s Ven Hui Hu, adding that the team would be recruiting more members across all age groups as it needs frontliners and supporting staff.
Last year, the team was dispatched to help flood victims in Klang, Shah Alam and Kuala Terengganu.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team was involved in delivering medical equipment to hospitals, face masks and sanitizers to schools, oxygen devices to COVID-19 patients, food baskets to the poor and others.