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20th December 2011
Bandar Seri Begawan, 20th December 2011 – Fire alarms and sirens sounded around the Baiduri Bank Head Office in Kiarong today in a staged fire scenario.  More than a hundred of the Bank’s customers, employees and heads of departments were successfully evacuated from the Head Office in a calm and orderly manner and assembled in designated areas opposite the office block.

At 10:30 in the morning, billows of smoke were seen coming from one of the windows on the second floor of the office block, followed by the sound of continuous ringing of the fire alarm.  Within minutes of sounding the alarm, several fire engines arrived at the scene, and the road leading to the complex was sealed off from the public.  Police personnel also arrived to control the traffic, and an ambulance arrived not long after that. A group of bank personnel who had previously undergone training and certified as Fire Marshalls by the Fire and Rescue Department were on hand to direct the evacuation of personnel from the building.

During the mock exercise, one death and four other casualties were reported.  Those injured sustained head injuries, burns and a broken hip.  One of the injured was a pregnant woman. They were found by the fire and rescue personnel at various places from level 1 to level 2 of the building and taken to a temporary medical tent set up nearby.

This morning’s fire drill was a joint exercise between Baiduri Bank, the Fire and Rescue Department, Royal Brunei Police Force and the Emergency and Ambulance Services (EMAS). Four fire tenders were deployed, as well as 1 ambulance and a few police vehicles.

The purpose of the drill was to provide tactical experience, knowledge and training for the employees as well as empower them to calmly face and handle all circumstances that might arise during emergencies, especially fire. The fire evacuation exercise also created awareness among the employees and the tenants on what to do before professional help arrives. The exercise was in line with Baiduri Bank’s initiative to provide an effective emergency action plan for the Bank.

Mr Pierre Imhof, the CEO of Baiduri Bank was among those who took part in the exercise.  He said, "It is difficult to prepare for the unexpected, as we really don’t know what’s going to happen. However, having regular fire drills to practice our evacuation plan is really important as it can save lives. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Brunei Fire & Rescue Department and the other agencies involved for their collaboration in making this exercise a success".

Baiduri Bank Group has in place an emergency response plan within the workplace which includes compliance with established measures to guarantee the safety and security of their customers and employees. The Group continuously provides training to its employees to prepare them to handle situations of fire and other emergencies.  Besides fire training, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training are also provided. To date, 42 members of staff from Baiduri Bank Group have successfully completed a Fire Marshall training course.


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