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Cebu City firefighters tell public to stay away from responding personnel to avoid spread of COVID-19

By: Alven Marie A. Timtim - CDN Digital Correspondent | May 05,2020 - 04:58 PM

Residents scramble to help the firefighters douse the fire that hit Sitio Panagdait, Barangay Kasambagan, Cebu City on Jan. 26, 2020. |CDND Photo / Alven Marie Timtim

CEBU CITY, Philippines — In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, even responding to fire alarms will now have to be covered by certain protocols.

The Cebu City Fire Department made this known on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, as the agency is discouraging the public from approaching their personnel during fire alarms even if their intention was to help.

In the Cebu City Fire Department’s official Facebook Page, the public was told to stay away from the firetrucks and the responding personnel to minimize the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection.

Even members of the media will need to be at a specific area when covering fires.

“Unta inyong hatagan ug higayon nga mobuhat sa among katungdanan ang mga BFP personnel lakip na ang atong mga fire volunteers sa pakigkombati sa kalayo,” reads a portion of the post.

According to Senior Fire Officer 1 Wendel Villanueva, chief of Public Information Unit of Cebu City Fire, the reminder was their way to avoid further contamination of the virus either from the spectators or from the fire responders themselves.

“We have to be very careful especially with the rising cases in our city. We don’t really know who has the virus so it is better to be extra careful and just let the firefighters and volunteers do their job,” said Villanueva.

Villanueva said they are aware that the public’s intention was to help douse the flames, but more often than not, their intrusion is hampering the work of the firefighters.

He added that it is also for everyone’s safety to keep their distance from the fire scene.

Meanwhile, for the media who will be covering fire incidents, Villanueva said that they need to coordinate with the ground commander first for a safer way to cover the incident.

He said there will also be a designated area where journalists could take photos and videos or do live coverages. /rcg


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TAGS: COVID-19, ECQ, journalists

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