Sandakan Air Traffic Control Tower Fire Drill [July 28th 2011]

Hello everyone,

Fire Drill That Left All Of Us Speechless.
It was busy traffic as usual at the Sandakan Air Traffic Control Tower when suddenly the upper level of the building was covered in thick smoke. Panic could be seen on the faces of the building occupants at the tower and office block as they fled for their lives when the tower caught fire. 

Two injured air traffic controllers were trapped at the upper level as the fire rising up quickly as firefighters were fighting to get to the tower. The injured air traffic controllers were carried out in stretchers to the assembly area as firefighters pulled water hoses into the building.

Luckily, no one really died or was injured, nor was the control tower really on fire as the whole scenario was actually part of the DCA Sandakan Building Evacuation Fire Drill. DCA Sandakan SMS Officer, Mr Rahim Monying said that the drill was enacted to fully prepare the control tower personnel if such a situation were to occur.

“This is to make sure we are ever and always ready to face such a crisis and to instill confidence in the officers involved to carry out their duties in such a situation,” he said.

The drill involved about 100 personnel from several agencies including the Department of Fire and Rescue team, PDRM and MAB Sandakan agencies.

Let's move on to the serious part.

A fire drill is a method of practicing the evacuation of a building for a fire or other emergency. Generally the emergency system is activated and the building is evacuated as though a real fire had occurred. Usually the time it takes to evacuate is measured to ensure that it occur within a reasonable length of time. [Source:Wikipedia]

"This type of training is required and important for building occupants, AFRS, State Fire Department, emergency and medical responders to have", according to Mr Soon Ping Vun.

During the exercise, 2 Sandakan AFRS vehicles arrived after being secured by the AVSEC.

Mr Lai Kok Diing, Senior Air Traffic Control Sandakan said, 'This is our opportunity to practice what we would do in real life situation".

"It is always nice to have multiple agencies get together in this type of drill", Mr Soon Ping Vun added.

Also participating were Sandakan Duchess of Kent Hospital, PDRM, Sandakan Petronas Aviation, Sandakan Meteorology Station and all units in Sandakan Malaysia Airports Bhd.

They did a very excellent job. They were very cooperative as things are well organized and we hope we can do this drill often here", said the State Fire and Rescue Services. Hopefully the lessons and experience learned from this drill are to be remembered, but it is comfort to know that, in the event of fire, we are all ready to roll.

Attached below are photos taken during the event.

Evacuating procedures

ATC arrived at AFRS Tower

UMPIRES from different agencies are accessing the drill according to the checklist

ATC is setting up sub-control tower at AFRS building

From afar, firefighting squad from AFRS MAB next to the control tower

As part of the procedures, radio check is being done between sub tower and control tower

State Department of Fire and Rescue Services are using their latest TTL vehicle and water hose.

When smoke is blanketing the upper level of control tower

Victim trapped and fainted in the Telekom radio room

Victim is trapped and awaiting to be rescued

Victim on stretcher

Part of the drill is to create smoke. Mr Hor Sin Ann did good job

TTL vehicle is extending its arm to the control tower

Extending upward

Maximum it could go as it is only and go up to 30 meters

Victim is found and rescued

At Command Post

Command Post

Now we have 2 top supermodels in DCA Sandakan representing TM-SNS

Quite a relax drill

Victims to be rescued

Victim is rescued

Victim to be brought down

Safe and sound on ground

Next victim to be saved

The most photogenic view of TTL vehicle

Firefighters are doing their superb job. Well done guys.

Life is priceless

Awaiting medical team to save victim


To be brought to hospital

Good angle from the photographer

Nice shot of TTL

Medical team and victim

It's pulse checking time

Ohh, you are still alive

Man Of The Day : Mr Soon Ping Vun

No fun time. It's serious matter dude

At command post

At command post

Mr Soon Ping Vun : Thank you for your contribution towards the success of the event

State Fire and Rescue Services officers

They are really discipline and well organized

UMPIRE meeting in DCA Sandakan room

UMPIRE meeting chaired by Mr Soon Ping Vun and Mr Lai Kok Diing

Line up of officers from different agencies

Appreciation pennant for State Fire and Rescue Services

Appreciation pennant for AFRS team

Appreciation pennant for AVSEC team

Appreciation pennant for PDRM

Appreciation pennant for TM SNS. Thanks guys for your help.

Mr Lai Kok Diing gives appreciation pennant to Mr Soon Ping Vun

Till then, see you in next posting !!