Bomba Sarawak mourns loss of Cliff, its loyal and dedicated canine hero

Image courtesy of Datu Khiruddin Drahman’s FB

SERIAN, Jan 4: Cliff, the search and rescue dog belonging to the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) that succumbed to cancer on Christmas Day, was described as a loyal comrade of the department.

The body of the English Springer Spaniel, born on January 1, 2016, was laid to rest at the Serian Fire and Rescue Station grounds here today.

Reflecting on their moments together, his trainer and handler Steven Ambu, 47, who had been with Cliff since 2018, described the dog as intelligent and obedient.

He said that Cliff, a Cadaver discipline dog with expertise in detecting corpses or missing persons, was also very friendly.

“I have many memories with Cliff. He had a hyper character and was very friendly,” he said, appearing emotional while speaking to reporters after the burial.

Meanwhile, Sarawak JBPM director, Datu Khirudin Drahman, said the loss of Cliff that had been with his team for almost seven years was very evident and significant.

“Every time we carried out an operation, Cliff was always at the forefront, and his dedication was evident. He was also able to adapt very well to weather conditions in Sarawak.

“Sometimes, in operations that took two to three hours to reach areas like in Miri or Baram, we would bring Cliff along on a helicopter,” he said.

Khirudin also said that Sarawak JBPM would begin the process of replacing its dogs this year and the procurement needed to be carried out as all five of its existing dogs were now old and had recorded seven years of service.

An allocation of RM12 million had been approved by the Federal government for the purpose of the replacement, he said.

“Efforts to make replacements with these new dogs are necessary to strengthen our capability because the efficiency rate of older dogs will also decline,” he said.

The five dogs at Sarawak JBPM now consists of two forensic dogs, two from the wilderness discipline used for forest operations and one cadaver to track dead bodies or missing persons.

“They were bought in 2018 brought from the United Kingdom at a price of about RM124,000 each,” he said.