A CHILD salvages anything of value from their burnt house at Barangay Tanza Timawa, City Proper, Iloilo City. Twenty-seven houses were razed when a fire broke out late evening of March 31, 2019, the last day of the Fire Prevention Month, in one of the heavily populated villages of the city. (Photo courtesy of Angel Zaldivar Alison)
Only 67 out of 180 villages in Iloilo City have organized their barangay fire brigade, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) here.
Mayor Jose S. Espinosa III encouraged officials to establish functional fire brigades in response to disaster.
“We are ready to give them trainings to make it functional,” BFP Iloilo City operations chief Senior Fire Officer 3 Aquilino Sampiano said.
“The barangay fire brigade is very important because it is the first line of defense of each barangay whenever there is a fire incident,” Sampiano added.
BFP identified 164 barangays in the metropolis with fire-prone areas.
Sampiano noted among the reasons why some barangays have yet to organize their fire brigade is because they have no fund or volunteers.
“Organizing a fire brigade does not entail big cost. All you need is your time and equipment such as water pump which will be used to get water from the sea or deep well, bucket, and fire hose,” Sampiano said.
A barangay fire brigade is composed of fire chief, assistant fire chief, firefighting team, search and rescue team, in-charge of traffic, guide for BFP and other firefighters to easily identify the fire scene, and medical and first aid team.
BFP Iloilo City offers three free sessions for barangay fire brigade.
The first session is about the BFP mandate, chemistry of fire, 10 phases of firefighting operations, role of tanods as barangay fire safety inspectors and responders.
The second session involves basic first aid and basic rescue.
The last session focuses on familiarization of personal protective equipment and other fire protection equipment, fire extinguisher and fire hose handling, and actual firefighting.
“Once they have organized their barangay fire brigade, they can tap us to provide trainings anytime even on weekends,” added Sampiano. (PIO)