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Fire prevention month kicks off

By: Fe Marie D. Dumaboc March 01,2018 - 10:41 PM

Thick smoke billowed from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Central Visayas tower along Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City yesterday morning during a mock fire incident staged to feature the firefighting skills of BFP-7 women personnel. The activity was part of the launching of this year’s Fire Prevention Month.
via Public Information Services BFP-7

According to statistics, March — one of the hottest months of the year — also happens to be one with the most number of fire incidents.

As such, Presidential Proclamation No. 115–A was declared by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1966 directing the observance of March as Fire Prevention Month to provide Filipinos with education and awareness in order to lessen the incidence of fire in the Philippines.

For more than 50 years, the celebration has been kept burning through various activities spearheaded by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

This year, BFP chose the theme: “Ligtas na Pilipinas ang ating hangad. Pag-iingat sa sunog ay sa sarili ipatupad (We aim for a safe Philippines.

Exercise precaution),” as a way of reminding the public that due diligence is the key to preventing fires.

“This year’s theme actually reflects the ultimate goal of the BFP which is to enable each and every member of the community to become fire-safety conscious individuals especially in their respective homes,” said BFP-7 Regional Director, Senior Supt. Samuel Tadeo.

“The BFP recognizes that there is no better alternative to prevent destructive fire than by having a well-informed public with regard to fire safety,” Tadeo added.

To intensify the government’s information drive for more public awareness, BFP-7 is tapping barangay and chapel-based organizations to help in their initiative called, “Ugnayan sa Barangay,” a public fire-safety awareness program.

Aside from village officials, Tadeo also urged his fellow public servants from other government agencies to help the bureau’s fire safety advocacies.

On Thursday, March 1, a BFP-7 advocacy walk was attended by at least 300 BFP personnel and representatives from various agencies like the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Civil Service Commission (CSC), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), National Police Commission (Napolcom), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and non-government organizations (NGOs)

The walk, which kicked off at 5 in the morning, started from the BFP-7 regional office on N. Bacalso Avenue, passing through V. Rama Ave., B. Rodriguez Street, Osmeña Boulevard and then back to the BFP-7 office.

This was followed by a simulation exercise, which featured BFP-7 female firefighters together with just two firemen from the Special Rescue Unit (SRU) responding to a mock fire incident at the BFP tower.

The fire drill highlighted BFP-7’s female firefighters as the bureau’s way to honor women-in-service as March also happens to be National Women’s Month.

The firewomen showed their skills in putting out the fire and in rescue operation.

At around 10 in the morning, a motorcade joined by at least 24 fire trucks from Cebu City’s eight fire substations was also among the activities held to celebrate the first day of Fire Prevention Month.

Earlier in the day, a Holy Mass was offered at St. Florian Chapel inside the BFP-7 compound.

Tadeo revealed that fire incidents in Central Visayas for the year 2017 had significantly decreased to 26 percent from 842 fires in 2016 to 622 last year.
The BFP-7 director also said that a series of activities were being prepared for the whole month of March, such as barangay visitations as part of its “Ugnayan sa Barangay.”

Meanwhile the CCDRRMO plans to build a 9th fire substation for Cebu City in the densely-populated Sitio Alaska, Barangay Mambaling, a fire-prone area.

According to CCDRRMO’s Bañacia, the new substation will cost around four million pesos to build.

Aside from the fire substation, a series of trainings and fire-safety awareness seminars will also be conducted in the barangays, Bañacia said.

On the part of PNP, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) community relations chief, Senior Insp. Gualberto Oroc reiterated their support for BFP’s programs. The PNP is tasked to protect the area and secure fire fighters in the event of a fire. /with CORRESPONDENT Benjie B. Talisic

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TAGS: fire, kicks, month, OFF, prevention

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