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Jakarta Post

The multifaceted roles of Jakarta firefighters

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 9, 2019   /   12:37 pm
The multifaceted roles of Jakarta firefighters A Fire and Rescue Agency firefighter removes a hornets' nest. ( Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency)

They may be the ones to contact if there is a fire in the city, but fire is not the only thing Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency personnel deal with in their daily duties.

Removing a ring stuck on a finger or rescuing a cat from the bottom of a well can also be included in their list of jobs.

“We are the Fire and Rescue Agency, we don't just rescue people, but also objects and animals,” Hoto L. Gaol of the East Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency said on Monday as reported by

Hoto, who joined the agency in 2011, said it was not an easy job to be a firefighter. He recalled some ups and downs he has encountered throughout his career. The ups, he said, could be that his family was proud that his job was sometimes broadcast by media and TV.

As for the downside, he said he once experienced violence from local residents.

“Once I arrived at a fire location, people had gathered and a man immediately punched me. ‘Your office is near here, but it took you a long time to get here,'" he recalled.

Hoto said traffic congestion sometimes slowed them down getting to the scene of a fire.

Other challenges include electricity, which is often still active at the fire location, putting firefighters in danger. Being hit by falling debris is also a danger faced by personnel.

In the eight years of his job, Hoto said he had received various kinds of reports, including some odd incidents.

“There was a person who got their finger stuck in a ring, causing their finger to swell. The doctor suggested the person report it to us and we handled it by cutting the ring with our mini grinder tool,” he said, citing that he had also been called upon for animal rescue, traffic accidents, collapsed trees and many other things.

Fire and Rescue Agency personnel also have to deal with reports of snakes, lizards as well as hornets' nests.

Ade, who also works for the East Jakarta Fire and Rescue Agency, said the office sometimes received fake reports.

“I once received a report asking for help at 1 a.m. and as I asked questions to get more details, the caller told me that he was making a prank,” he said, adding that he also once got a mysterious call in which the person at the other end laughed in a scary tone.

After receiving a prank call, the phone numbers are added to a blacklist in collaboration with mobile phone provider companies.

The city administration has developed an app to report any incidents related to fire and rescue, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store on smartphones. (eyc)