31 fires recorded in 1st quarter-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
THE Baguio Fire Department (BFD) has been intensive in their drive to advocate fire safety at home and in commercial establishments as they reported some 31 fire incidents for the first quarter of the year.
In a report during Monday's flag raising program, the BFD reported eight incidents comprised of structural fires, 18 forest fires, two vehicular fire, one electrical fire and two other fires that has caused residents and establishments over P940,000 in damages.
BFD fire marshal Joe Fernand Bangyod said they have been intensifying campaigns to advocate fire safety at home considering there are only 79 fire department personnel composed of five commissioned officers, 71 non-commissioned officers and three non-uniformed personnel performing various functions of the fire department.
Increased fire education activities are now being conducted by the BFD regularly by conducting fire safety trainings, seminars, basic life support and internship programs with various colleges and universities.
The BFD reported at least 17 groups and establishments participated in these trainings for the first three months comprising some 4,697 participants.
The fire marshal disclosed among their foremost problems is their lack of manpower considering that out of thousands of establishments in the city, they were only able to inspect 2,329 establishments.
For the first quarter of the year, the BFD also reviewed at least 145 building plans, issued 2,378 fire safety inspection certificates with collections reaching P444,313 in Fire Code fees.
Despite challenges, the fire marshal stressed they are able to improve their services by continuing to ask the city government to help their cause for the construction of another fire sub-station in Gibraltar aside from their current fire substations in Irisan and Aurora Hill.
This partnership with the local government is important in preventing fires that destroy properties as well as preventing the loss of lives which remains as the most important goal of the fire department.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 12, 2014.