‘We still believe in miracles’— BFP on collapsed supermarket rescue ops

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 24, 2019   •   1979

It has been two days since a four-storey building in Porac, Pampanga collapsed during the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that jolted several parts of Luzon on Monday (April 22).

Rescue experts say that an individual’s chance of survival has no exact limit. Sometimes, they can last up to 24-hours. Their survival will depend on their physical capabilities, health, and age.

With this in mind, rescuers including the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Region III continue to search for survivors beneath the rubble of Chuzon Supermarket.

BFP Region III Director SSupt. Samuel Tadeo still hopes to rescue more survivors.

“We still believe in miracles. Baka lang po naman, pinipilit lang po natin (Just in case [there are still survivors], we’re doing everything we can). Panalangin nalang na sana wala nang naiwan sa loob (We pray that no one gets left behind),” he said.

Rescuers drilled holes into debris so that the air and light can enter the collapsed building, making it easier for them to locate survivors. They also used thermal scanners and K-9 dogs.

However, according to Philex Mining underground safety supervisor, Abel Juandagan, it might already be impossible to locate survivors given the state of the building.

The Philex Mining rescue team is among the responders who went under the collapsed building to look for survivors.

Reports say at least four bodies have been retrieved.—Aileen Cerrudo

Bird flu detected in Pampanga egg farm, Agri dept. says

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A strain of a highly-pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a poultry farm in Pampanga, the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed on Wednesday.

Citing a report from the Bureau of Animal Industry, the DA said the presence of the avian flu strain, specifically A(H5N6), was detected in a poultry layer or egg-producing farm in San Luis town.

In a statement, the department said that upon confirmation of the report, a composite team of veterinarians and animal health officers from its field office in Central Luzon and Pampanga was immediately sent to the area to apply emergency control measures and conduct disease surveillance around the infected farm to arrest the spread of A(H5N6).

“The team humanely culled a total of 38,701 head of layers and disposed off them properly, employing the protocols under the Avian Influenza Protection Program of the Philippine Government,” DA-BAI director Ronnie Domingo said in his report to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The agency assured that all personnel involved in the disease control measure were strictly monitored. It added that the avian disease has not been reported and detected among broilers, which is the primary source of poultry meat.

Domingo said that early reporting, detection and strong multi-agency collaboration “paved the way for the rapid and effective response in the management of the A(H5N6) incidence.”

Initial field investigation showed the presence in San Luis of migratory birds, which has been associated with bird flu outbreaks in many countries, including the Philippines.

Domingo said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has identified 117 important bird areas (IBA) in the country, and about 150,000 migratory birds nest and breed annually in Central Luzon.

“The DA-BAI, therefore, urges poultry raisers in Central Luzon and in traditional IBAs to protect and shield their farms from the entry of migratory birds, and more importantly immediately report any unusual poultry mortalities,” it said.

Modernization plan seen to boost performance of BFP

Maris Federez   •   July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on Tuesday, July 28, said it is looking forward to the planned modernization of the agency as mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

In a phone interview, BFP Director Jose Embang, Jr admitted that the agency is now being left behind as compared with the other fire departments in other countries.

Embang said that what they need to be on par with other countries in meeting and maintaining international standards is additional personnel, as well as equipment, training, and salary increase.

He said what the President mentioned in his SONA will be a great help to the agency.

“Ngayon lang nagkaroon, nabanggit ng isang Pangulo na dalawang beses ang modernization ng Bureau of Fire since last year, nabanggit n’ya na ‘yan, tapos ngayong nabanggit na naman n’ya. Given by the fact siguro na s’ya ay naging mayor sa Davao ng ilang dekada at nakita n’ya ang importance ng isang fire department sa isang bayan,” Embang said.

He added that the agency has only around 29,000 personnel nationwide and what they need is double that number.

He said that to be able to recruit the additional 30,000 personnel, they have to offer a more competitive salary.

He explained that more than being firefighters, the BFP is also among the first to respond to rescue operations during disasters and emergencies.

“Ini-ensure n’ya na ang lahat ng tao na nakatira sa mga establishment ay safe from destructive fires, isa lang ‘yun, prevention,” he said.

The BFP is also a support group to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in national emergencies and in fighting terrorism.

“Sini-secure n’ya ‘yung mga taong affected ng isang emergency bago ‘yung investigation, bago dumating ‘yung iba-ibang mga unit,” Embang said.

To perform these things, Embang said, the BFP would need equipment such as additional fire trucks, ladders, platforms, ambulances, rescue trucks, and hazardous materials trucks.

“Importanteng-importante po ‘yang hazardous materials truck, kasi ‘yan po ‘yung nagre responde sa mga chemical spill, sa mga bio kagaya ng COVID, sa mga radiological incident, ‘yan po ‘yung hazardous materials na tinatawag,” the BFP official further explained.

The agency is also planning to procure choppers to be used in transporting victims from high-rise buildings or forest fires, as well as rescue boats, and drones. — (from the report of Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

DILG directs BFP to assist in transfer of COVID-19 patients to isolation facilities

Robie de Guzman   •   July 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday ordered the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to assist in the implementation of the government’s Oplan Kalinga program.

“The BFP is part of the Municipal/City COVID-19 Task Forces and in this capacity they have been assisting the City/Municipal Health Office transport COVID patients since the start of the pandemic. In fact, they have so far transported 1,674 COVID patients nationwide,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

Año said the BFP’s Emergency Medical Service and Special Rescue Units have the necessary health personnel and equipment in the transportation of COVID patients.

Under the Oplan Kalinga program, the local government unit’s (LGU) Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, assisted by policemen, will go house-to-house to search for COVID-19 cases that should be transferred to quarantine facilities.

The DILG chief said that assigning the BFP in the movement of COVID patients to isolation facilities is nothing new since it has been doing this since the beginning of the pandemic.

He noted that since the start of the public health crisis, the BFP has mobilized 73.80% of the total BFP personnel or 20,947 officers out of the 29,383 total manpower to different tasks as part of DILG’s efforts to defeat COVID-19.

“We have deployed 98 BFP EMS ambulances, 35 Rescue/HazMat vehicles, 970 firetrucks and 114 BFP service vehicles for the DILG’s over-all COVID 19 response,” he said.

He also directed the BFP to intensify its contact tracing efforts as part of the local contact tracing and monitoring teams. “The BFP’s contact tracing efforts have assisted in the tracing of the close contacts of some 18,871 patients,” he said.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.