BFP: People's participation key to fire prevention
San Jose, Antique (15 March) -- "We need the people to be vigilant and participative in preventing fire especially with the El Niņo phenomenon where surroundings easily driy up and water are getting scarce", said Sr. Inspector Romeo Gigato, Jr., Acting Provincial Fire Marshal.
In observance of the Fire Prevention month this March, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) enjoined families and communities to be responsible with their actions that might cause fire more so with the occurrence of longer dry spell.
Gigato mentioned some precautionary measures to prevent fire such as securing candles and kerosene lamps particularly during brownouts, electronic appliances should in good order and keep them unplugged when not in use.
Smokers are also warned not to throw their cigarette butts anywhere that can spark a fire with the intense heat and dried leaves. Adults are also advised to keep matches, lighters out of children's reach.
BFP Antique reported a total of 21 cases of fire in 2009 with damages amounting to P4,716,300.00. Most of structures affected were residential areas. As of March 12 this year, a total of 5 cases were reported with damages amounting to about P1.5million, said Fire Officer Alenel Cuayson.
Sr. Fire Officer Alex Ortiaga also said that there are six stations in the province being served by 56 fire personnel with eight fire trucks to cater the needs of all municipalities clustered near the stations. The local government of San Jose, the capital town has one fire truck with 2 others from volunteer fire brigade while the town of Sibalom has also one additional truck from volunteer fire brigade.
BFP urged LGUs to purchase its own fire trucks to immediately respond to fire calls if not make functional the fire pumps given to them by the BFP for use of volunteer fire brigades.
To facilitate community participation, BPF has also organized Kiddie/Junior Fire Marshal in different elementary and high schools in the province. The children were given fire drills and simulation exercises to ensure their preparedness during fires.
The LGU are also enjoined to organize Barangay Response and Assistance Volunteers in Emergency (BRAVE) to be trained by BFP to become front liners in cases of fire calls.
This year's theme of Fire Prevention Month is "Sustaining fire prevention through active community participation". (PSM/PIA) [top]