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AS FIRE PREVENTION MONTH DRAWS TO AN END: BFP-Naga to stage fire drill, brigade olympics

NAGA CITY Mayor Jonh Bongat with NCSCFI President Gallenito (leftmost) and Chief Inspector Ricafort (rightmost) during the launching of BFP-Naga’s Project: CARES. JASON B. NEOLA

NAGA CITY --- The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) here will be staging two events on Friday and Sunday this week as part of the observance of Fire Prevention Month that is about to end on March 31, this year.

On Friday (March 29), a simulated conflagration will be witnessed in a crowded and fire-prone street in Barangay Peñafrancia, here. The fire drill will check the reaction of residents in the area, and determine the workability of firefighting and detection system installed in the buildings, if any, so that deficiencies may be removed and an improvement plan may be executed to avoid possible loss of lives and properties.

On Sunday (March 31), a fire olympics which will be participated in by 10 fire brigades from different Naga-based private business entities, such as malls, hospitals and schools, will be held infront of LCC Mall in Barangay Sabang, this city.

The competition will enable the public to raise consciousness on fire safety and be updated on fire prevention information and fire safety measures as the participating contingents will be tested on their firefighting capabilities and enhancement of skills. It will also help improve camaraderie and cooperation between the BFP personnel and members of the joining fire brigades.

Ironically, the observance of this year’s fire prevention month was preceded by incidents of structural and grass fires that brought to 31 the number of grassfires and 8 the total number of structural fires registered within the January-March 2019 period.

Fire Chief Inspector Emmanuel G. Ricafort, city fire marshal, said that his office is planning to propose the enactment of a city or barangay ordinance that will mandate barangay officials and volunteer workers to clear vacant lots of grass, especially the grasslands near the residential areas.

“The measure will be of help to reduce, if not to totally eliminate, the occurrence of grassfires in the city,” says Ricafort.

Anchored on this year’s theme, Ligtas na Pilipinas Ating Kamtin, Bawat Pamilya ay Sanayin, Kaalaman sa Sunog ay Palawakin, are BFP-Naga’s package of different activities which were conducted with an end view of raising the Nagueños awareness on fire safety and prevention.

On Friday last week, the BFP launched its Project CARES, an innovation that leads towards motivating the elderly to take part in the campaign to promote fire safety as everyone’s concern.

Mayor Bongat said the project sees the elderly as important partners in making sure that fire incidents will be avoided because of their preparedness habit that help to keep their own families away from being victims of fire.

“The simple unplugging of electrical cords from the socket when not in use, especially when everybody is leaving the house or going to sleep at night, is one example of what our grandparents has been doing,” says Bongat.

Jose Manuel Gallenito, president of Naga City Senior Citizens Federation Inc., said the project, which is in the form of capacity-building seminar, will be conducted in the city’s 27 barangays as follow-on activities with members of the sector as participants.

Earlier this month, a similar activity was attended by pupils and students from public and private elementary and secondary schools in the city.

Records at the BFP national headquarters in Quezon City revealed that within the period January-March 2019, twelve individuals, whose ages range from 50-80 years old, were killed in fire and 22 children (1-12 years old) met their untimely deaths in similar incidents that happened in different parts of the country.

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