The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is now facilitating the construction and eventual operationalization of five more P2.6 million fire stations in Bohol towns.
Fire Chief Inspector Antonio Ortiz, Bohol Acting Fire Marshal shared this as the Kapihan sa PIA tackled Bohol’s readiness to respond to fire and other similar calamities.
At the radio forum which talked about Fire Prevention Month, Ortiz also bared that this year’s commemoration theme is “Kaalaman at Pagtutulongan ng Sambayanan, Kaligtasa sa Sunog ay Makamtan.
Moreover, two more firr stations are being repaired and retrofitted to suit the BFP standards for fire stations across the country, added Tagbilaran City Fire Marshal Chief Inspector Raul Bustalino.
The new fire stations, courtesy of the towns who facilitated lot donations are in Sierra Bullones, Catigbian, Sagbayan, Anda and Sikatuna.
When these new stations are put up and the tow more repaired, Bohol would tend to have 36 fire stations in its 47 towns and a city.
But, for Bohol which has 1.2 million in population, and only 280 fire officers assigned here in the different fire stations spread all over the province, the population to fireman is exaggeratedly daunting.
Although the number is still far from the ideal, the BFP, who are the kings of emergency and disaster response,Â said despite their being thinly spread, they are adapting to the situation, explains acting Bohol Fire marshal Ortiz.
Key to their being able to cover areas which are not covered by a local station is the effective use of multi-functional firemen organizing cluster approach, the institutionalization of volunteer fire brigades and the continuing fire prevention guides the BFP is disseminating to communities.
We implemented a cluster system, towns without fire stations can ask for help from nearby towns with the equipment, BFP explained.
As to the manpower complement of a fire truck, the BFP and their Fire Protection Coordinator assigned in towns also are tasked to organize volunteer fire brigades composed of civilians who can take on the task of a fireman in their absence.
It is among the expected accomplishment of fire chiefs in the towns to put up their own fire brigades, local who are familiar with the territory and can partner with the firemen in the fire engines, Ortiz said.
He also said that establishments with employees over 50 are also mandated to organize such fire teams, while the BFP does its training.
But, considering the acute need for equipment, manpower and resources, the BFP’s ace on the sleeve is its continuing fire prevention campaigns and proactive engagement with stakeholders, both Bustalino and Â Ortiz revealed.
Like anywhere les, fire prevention is always better than fire suppression, BFP agrees. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)