Kids to get a feel of the role of rescuers-A A +A
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
KIDS got a hands-on experience of the work of firemen and rescue volunteers on Monday, 22 years to the day after the killer quake, 7.7 on the Richter scale, hit Baguio and Northern Luzon on July 16, 1990.
City fire chief, Senior Inspector Jessie Annasiw and Inspector John Ullibac, a veteran of numerous rescue operations, led fire officers in treating the kids -- sixth-graders from Rizal and San Vicente elementary schools here -- to a role-modeling experience aboard fire trucks.
From the fire station, the kids were escorted by volunteers of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) to the Busol Watershed for the annual “Poni ni Kiyew” (Ritual of the Tree) performed by a native priest in honor of those who perished in the quake.
The kids, guided by the volunteers and their teachers, explored the forest and rappeled down inclined portions of the watershed to plant pine seedlings. They ended up searching for the longest pine needle and biggest cone and a quiz bee that offers crayons, erasers, pads and other school supplies as prizes.
Back in class later, the kids were asked by school principals Brenda Lee Celino and Margie Estoesta to write on their encounter with the rescuers and Eco-walk in Busol.
The earthquake anniversary activities will peak on July 22 along Session Road, the city’s inclined main street, where the CDRRMC volunteers and other rescuers will display their capability in exhibits.
City administrator Carlos Canilao, also the action officer of the CDRRMC, said Philippine Air Force personnel will do a ground search-and-rescue demonstration, along with the rescuers assigned to display booths.
The humanitarian dimension of the observance will be accounts of actual rescue work by some of the heroes in the aftermath of earthquake and a blood-letting by the local Red Cross, according to CDRRMC operations chief Janice Singiten.
In observance of “Disaster Awareness Month,” rescue volunteers and barangay leaders firmed up last Thursday a clean-up of the upper portion of the Balili River at Santo Nino Barangay on July 25, City councilor Peter Fianza who initiated the community effort, said it is aimed at clearing obstacles to the smooth flow of the river this rainy season, aside from serving as training for rescuer in disaster risk analysis. (Ramon Dacawi)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 17, 2012.