BUTUAN CITY – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Agusan del Norte is banking on constant competitive training to boost capabilities of firefighters in the province.
Around 250 volunteer firefighters from different fire brigades across the province take part in the "Fire Olympics" held in this city Friday, July 14.
“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,” Senior Inspector Rey Antonio Restauro, acting Agusan del Norte fire marshal, said.
Restauro said fire volunteers who regularly take part in such events have the benefit of learning new skills and techniques.
Restauro said they were not been able to mount regular Fire Olympics since 2014 because of budget constraints. He said they are hoping the competitions can be done annually.
Friday’s event was participated by 11 volunteer fire brigades from Agusan
“We have participants from the towns of Jabonga, Las Nieves, Magallanes, Nasipit, Tubay, Santiago, Buenavista and from the cities of Cabadbaran and two barangays from Butuan (City). As for the industrial fire brigade category, we have participating teams from an oil mill, from a manufacturing plant, rice mill and from a large-scale mining company,” said Fire Officer 2 Rica Joy Palarca.
Data from the BFP showed that of the 10 towns in Agusan del Norte, the town of Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) is yet to have its own fire station and fire brigade unit, while the town of Carmen is yet to have its own volunteer fire brigade unit.