Wednesday, July 4, 2007

BFP-7 receives disaster response equipment from Canadian Embassy

Cebu City (4 July) -- To immediately respond to man-made disasters caused by any chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agent, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP-7) received 19 boxes of assorted equipment and materials donated by the Canadian Embassy for such purpose.

BFP-7 Regional Director S/Supt. Eleuterio Iturriaga in a PIA Kapihan this morning disclosed that he is still awaiting a list of inventory of the 19 boxes but that the equipment and tools given by the Canadian Embassy include entry suits, boots, goggles, helmets, gas masks and injectable medicines.

Iturriaga however, said the equipment donation may not be for the BFP-7 alone but include members of the police, military and the health department in the region.

Two months ago, the Canadian Embassy conducted a seminar in Cebu to members of the BFP-7, Philippine National Police-7, Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force and the Department of Health-7 relative to disaster risk management on CBRN, this is learned.

By October, personnel from the Canadian Embassy will come back to Cebu to train the participants on how to use these equipment and tools in CBRN rescue operations, according to Iturriaga.

Iturriaga cannot say how much the total value of the equipment donation is but said an entry suit costs about P300T each.

The BFP-7 helps in extending emergency services especially in rescue and retrieval operations in times of disastrous events as a member of the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC).

Though Iturriaga admitted their agency lacks sophisticated equipment particularly in the rescue and retrieval efforts but that their personnel have sufficient training on rescue and emergency situations.

"Basic emergency rescue training is now included in the BFP program," Iturriaga said.

Office of Civil Defense (OCD-7) Regional Director Angel Gaviola however clarified that fire situations do not warrant as a disaster incident. (PIA-Cebu/FCR)

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