Butuan City – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) office in the province of Agusan del Norte carried out a competitive training activity to boost municipal firefighting capabilities, as some 250 volunteer firefighters from various fire brigades across the province participated in the Fire Olympics here, Friday, July 14, 2017.
“We hope this kind of friendly competition among volunteer fire brigades across the different towns and cities here will help boost our firefighting capabilities,” said Senior Inspector Rey Antonio Restauro, acting Provincial Fire Marshall for Agusan del Norte.
“These volunteers will be the first responders in their own respective barangays and towns. While reinforcement from the main BFP stations from nearby towns are on their way, they will be battling the fire on their own in the first few minutes. So it would be better to capacitate them through training and exercises such as what we have now.”
Restauro noted that the provincial fire Olympics haven’t been held in a while.
He added that, the more the volunteers will be part of such events, “the more they will be challenged to train harder and become better in what they do.
“The event also teaches them new skills and update the techniques needed, as BFP personnel will personally teach them, point out what could be improved, and how to better apply their skill sets on the situation given.”
“It would be very beneficial for everyone if this kind of competition can be done annually, as these volunteers are our force multipliers on the ground in cases of emergencies. The more they train, and with more competitive exercises such as this, our volunteers will be able to better respond to different situations,” said Restauro.
According to Fire Officer 2 Rica Joy Palarca, 11 volunteer fire brigades from Agusan del Norte participated in the event, together with four from the industrial fire brigades.
“We have participants from the towns of Jaboanga, Las Nieves, Magallanes, Nasipit, Tubay, Santiago, Buenavista and from the cities of Cabadbaran and two barangays from Butuan City. For the industrial fire brigade category, we have a participating teams from an oil mill, from a manufacturing plant, rice mill and from a large scale mining company,” said Palarca.
Data from the provincial BFP suggests that, of the 11 municipalities in Agusan del Norte, the town of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) has yet to put up it’s own fire station and fire brigade unit, while the town of Carmen has yet to have its own volunteer fire brigade unit.
Among the municipalities, only the towns of Beunavista and Magallanes are operating with two fire trucks.
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERWIN MASCARIÑAS, News5 | InterAksyon