A firefighter from the Sampaloc Fire Sub-Station teaches Community Fire Auxiliary Group members how to extinguish fires and work with firefighters on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the UST Grandstand and Open Field. (Photo by Marvin John F. Uy/ The Varsitarian)

MORE THAN 75 percent of fire incidents in the City of Manila hit residential areas in 2021, data from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) showed.

According to the BFP data, 164 of 212 reported structural fires in Manila happened in apartment buildings, condominiums, dormitories, hotels, lodging and rooming houses, and family houses in 2021.

The total number of affected structures in the 212 cases was 1,442, costing about P54 million in damage.

Ray Fernandez, a Senior Fire Officer 2 at the Sampaloc Fire Sub-Station, said that since most fire incidents happen in residential sites, residents must undergo fire prevention training.

“Sa mga private establishment, walang problema e. Obligado ang mga private establishment para magkaroon ng fire drill, magkaroon ng training ang fire brigade or employees nila… [kaso] hindi naman kasi binibigay sa residential area ‘yon,” Fernandez told the Varsitarian.

“Kaya ang ginawa ng government is nagkaroon ng ‘Oplan Ligtas na Pamayanan’ purely for the residential, purely for the community lang,” Fernandez added.

The “Oplan Ligtas na Pamayanan” is a training program launched by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 2019.

According to the DILG’s Memorandum Circular No. 2019-40, each barangay must create a community fire protection plan and establish a “Community Fire Auxiliary Group” (CFAG).

UST, in partnership with the Sampaloc Fire Sub-Station, held a training and simulation exercise for the fire auxiliary groups of 192 Sampaloc barangays at the UST Grandstand and Open Field on Saturday, Oct. 15.

During the training, about 2,000 CFAG members were taught how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), extinguish fires using buckets of water, and operate portable fire extinguishers. 

They were also taught how to respond and work with firefighters. 

Madi Cajucom, an official of Barangay 585, told the Varsitarian that she learned best from the firsthand experience of performing CPR and fire extinguishment demos. 

“‘Wag naman sanang magkaroon ng sunog pero, at least, when that emergency comes, somehow may alam kami,” Cajucom said. Logan Kal-El M. Zapanta


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