Makati kicks off Fire Prevention Month with demo of DRRM equipment

MANILA Makati Mayor Abby Binay on Thursday led the ceremonial blessing and launching of the recently acquired state-of-the-art mobile command and emergency response vehicles and gear as part of its continuing commitment to resilience and sustainability.

Selected vehicles from the fleet were earlier showcased in a motorcade around the city as part of day-long activities organized by the Makati Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), dubbed Fire Prevention Month 2018: Kick-Off Parade and Skills Fair.

These include four mobile command vehicles, one advanced mobile emergency communication vehicle, one aerial fire ladder truck, one super tanker, two chemical fire trucks, two rescue trucks, two USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) trailers, 10 rescue boats, two mobile kitchens, 13 basic life support ambulances, three motorcycles and two mobile clinics.

The city has also acquired 27 fire suppression backpacks to be placed on motorcycles which will be mobilized during fires to access narrow streets in densely populated areas in the city. The MDRRMO expects two Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Ambulances and 24 additional motorcycles for fire suppression to be delivered within the month.

The Skills Fair included the actual demonstration of the Aerial Fire Ladder, Super Tanker, Advanced Command Vehicle, Mobile Command Vehicle, and Motorcycle Backpack Fire Extinguisher.

In her welcome remarks, the mayor cited the significance of the city's latest acquisitions for DRRM at the start of the nationwide observance of Fire Prevention Month this March.

We want to emphasize our commitment to promote a real 'smart city' that is not only in step with the digital age, but is well-equipped to protect and save lives when disaster strikes, and to rebuild affected communities, Binay said.

She also underscored the message carried by this year's theme, Ligtas na Pilipinas ang ating hangad, Pag-iingat sa sunog ay sa sarili ipatupad, urging Makati residents and the public to adopt a 'safety first' attitude in everything they do.

May we all take to heart the message that positive change must begin within ourselves. Bear in mind that any careless action can adversely affect not only yourselves, but also endanger family members, neighbors, and even co-workers, the mayor said.

The Advanced Mobile Emergency Communication vehicle will serve as the city's back-up mobile emergency communication system mirroring the functions of the DRRM Operations Center, to ensure continuity of communication in a worst-case scenario, such as a magnitude 7.2 earthquake.

Equipped with five Rapid Deployment Camera System, a laptop workstation and reliable LTE 4G internet connection, the vehicle ensures continuity of communication even when power supply is interrupted and cellular sites are damaged.

The Mobile Command Vehicle, on the other hand, will create a network of communication for DRRM Operations Center. It is equipped with a portable Weather Monitoring System, Video Encoder Surveillance Hub, Built-in 4G/ LTE cellular modem and Wi-Fi connectivity that enable it to provide assistance on communicating search, rescue, and retrieval operations, as well as relief operations and services.

Response Vehicles will be utilized by Incident Management Teams of the Makati City Hall to immediately report status of offices and resources of the city government.

To ensure immediate and efficient response to fire incidents, the city government has procured Super Tankers, Chemical Fire Trucks, and Mobile Fire Suppressions which can augment fire truck shortage in case of huge fire incidents.

Based on the report of the city's DRRMO, one super tanker is roughly equivalent to the capacity of eight regular fire trucks.

Chemical fire trucks come in handy when fires break out due to gas leak or electrical short circuits during a strong earthquake, and fire suppression becomes difficult when water pressure decreases due to ruptured pipes. The two new units are also expected to bring the city closer to the ideal fire truck-population ratio.

Given the increasing number of high-rise buildings in the city, the city has procured a new fire truck with an aerial ladder which has the capacity to reach a height of 56 meters and load up to 270 kgs., roughly equivalent to three persons.

Mobile Fire Suppression vehicles can enter narrow roads and can provide immediate fire assistance in densely populated barangays.

To ensure ease of access and immediate transport of relief services and other operations during disasters, Rescue Boats, Rescue Trucks, and Urban Search and Rescue Trailer (USAR) have also been procured by the city.

Equipped with diver support, victim lift, and night vision package, the newly-acquired rescue boats can aid in search and rescue operations and can load a maximum of 15 persons. In case of an earthquake where debris may block city roads and render them impassable, affected individuals and families can use them to access the Pasig River to get to their destination.

The Urban Search and Rescue Trailer (USAR) has the capacity to reach individuals trapped in confined spaces and provide them initial medical stabilization. It is equipped with cutting and power tools, total encapsulating suit, and chemical protective suits, and can load up to 14,545 kg.

Meanwhile, the Rescue Truck is a readily deployable vehicle containing rescue equipment necessary for any kind of incident. It aims to shorten response time by eliminating the burden of loading the equipment for every response operations.

To provide health services in times of disasters, the city has procured Basic Life Support Ambulance (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Ambulance, as well as a Mobile Kitchen.

The BLS can provide immediate aid to patients needing life support systems while the ACLS can aid patients in cardiac distress. On the other hand, the Mobile Kitchen can provide hot, nutritional alternative meals to instant foods not only for evacuees, but for emergency responders and volunteers as well.

On March 3, during the Lingkod Bayan Caravan in Barangays Singkamas and La Paz, a Life and Fire Safety Seminar will be conducted for residents, while on March 10, the same seminar will be conducted for residents of Barangay Rizal. The three barangays have been identified as the most fire-prone residential areas in the city.

Meanwhile, a Fire Brigade Skills Enhancement Session will be conducted among Makati City Hall employees on March 24 to capacitate city employees on how to respond when a disaster strikes.

Some of the DRRM vehicles will be turned over to the city fire and police departments for a more comprehensive citywide disaster response. (Makati PR)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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