01 May 2008

Perak gets first woman deputy fire chief


Rizal Amir (left)  at the handing-over of duties ceremony to Zuraidah Latip yesterday.
Rizal Amir (left) at the handing-over of duties ceremony to Zuraidah Latip yesterday.

IPOH: Zuraidah Latip created history when she was appointed the Perak Fire and Rescue Department deputy director yesterday.

Holding the rank of assistant commissioner, the 46-year-old who was formerly attached to the department's training division in Putrajaya became the first female officer to hold the post in the state.

She took over from Rizal Amir, 54, who moves to Federal Territory Fire and Rescue department as deputy director.

Zuraidah who holds a degree in Social Science from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, is the second female officer to hold the post of deputy director in the country.

She also holds the distinction of being the first woman officer to hold the rank of superintendent in May 1997.
When asked why she chose a career dominated by males, she said, "There are only a handful of women in this field and it is a challenging profession.

"During my younger days, I used to see firemen in action putting out fires and that spurred my interest in the job."

Speaking after a handing-over of duties ceremony here, Zuraidah thanked the department's top level officers for having faith in her and vowed to carry out her duties professionally.

She joined the department in 1997 as a recruit and was posted to the Selangor department's training division from 1998 to May 2003.

She was then appointed head of the training unit at the department's headquarters in Putrajaya and served in various capacities until her new appointment.

Zuraidah also said that she was the only one in her family who opted to join a uniformed body.

Also present were former Malacca Fire and Rescue Department director Mohd Din Rajad, 55, who took over as state director from Ab Ghani Daud.

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