Province to hold search and rescue summit
CEBU Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) head Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. announced in a press conference last Friday that they will conduct the first Provincial Search and Rescue (SAR) Summit on July 29-31.
Tribunalo said around 500 participants from the public and private sectors are expected to attend.
He said the summit is part of a mandate of the Office of the Civil Defense to unify all efforts of the different rescue groups.
Tribunalo also said the summit will also assess the capability of the Cebu provincial government to handle upcoming events, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Ironman 70.3 Challenge.
Tribunalo admitted that the province has no regular capacity building for the local SAR teams and that he wanted to hold the summit regularly every year.
Tribunalo said they will also regularly conduct search and rescue training for school-based and community-based groups.
PDRRMO Operations Unit head Dennis Cortes said the summit will enable field emergency responders in the province to boost interoperability.
Cortes said the summit will create a steering committee for unified emergency response procedures, guidelines and protocols.
The SAR summit has two exercises: technical response and rapid response.
In the technical response, the team will be provided with equipment to complete a rescue under a time limit. In the rapid response exercise, the team must complete the rescue in a short period of time using the same equipment.
Cortes said there will also be training on rope, urban, water, vehicle, fire, and mountain search and rescue operations.
Cortes said they would create uniform protocols for emergency operations to replace the different kinds of protocols being followed by the different agencies.
Philippine Coast Guard Special Operations Unit Central Visayas commanding officer Ferdinand Montermoso said they will also instruct the participating groups on rescue techniques in rubber boat operations. /UP Cebu Intern Mary Claire U. Catado
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