Health officials assure fiesta-goers: Don’t worry

By: Dominic D. Yasay, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag January 13,2017 - 11:37 PM
 The image of the Señor Sto. Niño arrives at the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City where hundreds of devotees welcome the sacred image during the Traslacion. (CDN PHOTO/FERDINAND R. EDRALIN).

The image of the Señor Sto. Niño arrives at the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City where hundreds of devotees welcome the sacred image during the Traslacion. (CDN PHOTO/FERDINAND R. EDRALIN).

AS the shutdown of cell sites began to take effect today, medical groups in Cebu assured that emergency services would not be affected with the disruption of mobile communication beginning at 3 a.m. today, three hours before the scheduled Santo Niño fluvial procession.

The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) said necessary arrangements were made to support the decision of police and telecommunications officials to shut down mobile communication lines for the duration of the fluvial and land processions today and during the dawn Mass and the Sinulog Grand Parade on Sunday.

Police advised families and groups setting out to take part in these events to agree on their meeting places or time since “zero signal” will be implemented for most parts of these two days.

Medical responders had tapped the services of radio volunteer groups such as the Rescue Emergency Assistance Volunteers Organization (Reavo) and the Federation of Volunteers for Radio Communication (FVRC).

“Each medical station has seven medical personnel with one radio communicator,” said Dr. Shelbay Blanco, DOH-7 Health Emergency Management Staff (Hems) coordinator.

The DOH medical stations will be at Fuente Osmeña, Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Barangay Imus, Cebu Technological University (CTU) in M.J. Cuenco Avenue and Mango Avenue.

Radio communicators from FVRC will also be deployed at the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) to relay calls to volunteers in the field.

“It is reliable,” Blanco assured, adding that ambulances will also be dispatched to several areas within the procession and parade routes for immediate response.

The Red Cross Cebu Chapter, meanwhile, assured that their contingency plans are in place.

“We understand this well. Our contingency plan is always in place and this includes the use of handheld radios,” said Red Cross Cebu incident commander for local command structure Maria Vera de Jesus.

De Jesus told CDN that the use of handheld radio has always been practiced by all Red Cross volunteers as they partner with Reavo, a nonprofit emergency response organization.

For this year’s Sinulog, Reavo will provide 20 handheld radios and 25 volunteers to augment Red Cross’ 300-men team assigned in first aid stations on Imus Road, P. Del Pilar Street, Mango Avenue, Osmeña Boulevard and at the premises of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

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TAGS: Department of Health in Central Visayas, DOH, DOH-7, Federation of Volunteers for Radio Communicatio, fluvial, fluvial procession, santo nino, Santo Niño fluvial procession, Sinulog Grand Parade

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