Rama finds fire chief ‘sloppy’-A A +A
Thursday, August 23, 2012
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama is unimpressed by the performance of the new fire chief in the city, Chief Inspector William Tacaldo.
Tacaldo, who replaced Fire Senior Supt. Aderson Comar last Aug. 14, 2012, has yet to pay a courtesy call on the mayor.
In a news conference yesterday, Rama called “sloppy” the new city fire marshal Chief Insp. Wiliam Tacaldo who is the former chief of Dumaguete City Fire Department.
Tacaldo has responded at least two fire incidents since he assumed his post last week.
That, while five firefighters from the Cebu City Fire Department received recognition by an international animal organization for saving a cat in one of the fires that hit the city.
Rama noticed that Tacaldo and Comar have different approaches in responding to fire alarms, referring to the blaze at M. Velez St., Capitol Site last Sunday afternoon.
The mayor observed that firefighters under Tacaldo’s supervision aren’t equipped with
devices in responding to fire alarm.
Rama, who was in the fire scene at M. Velez St., wanted the building gutted by fire to be opened, but he said there was no bolt cutter available.
Rama said the fire, which lasted for 25 minutes, could have easily been put off had the fire department used the necessary equipment to open the hardware store, which had paint inside, near the house where the fire started.
“Ang pintal man ang nakapadugay ato,” he said.
Tacaldo, on the other hand, said the cans of paint stored inside the hardware store had made it hard for them to stop the blaze.
The fire damage at least P800,000 in properties.
Another blaze hit a one-story building owned by the Cebu City Government in the mountain barangay of Taptap last Sunday night and it was gutted by fire before a fire truck arrived. The Cebu City Fire Department estimated the damage at P700,000.
Despite the mayor’s comment, Tacaldo said he will not be discouraged in performing his duty as the new fire chief in the city.
He said he can do nothing about the mayor’s statement, but he will take it as a challenge to perform better.
The city fire marshal disclosed that he wanted to see the mayor, but Rama’s secretary told him to just wait for his schedule.
Rama said he will listen to Tacaldo when the fire marshal pays him a courtesy and tell him all the things he wants the firefighters to do.
Tacaldo said he will welcome it and he is more than willing to listen to Rama, admitting that the mayor has control and supervision over them.
For now, Tacaldo said he will focus on the rehabilitation of their dilapidated fire
trucks because they only have six fire trucks to respond fire alarms.
Rama wanted Comar back after he was reassigned to the National Capital Region as
deputy director for operations.
The mayor wanted to bring the issue to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as he plans to write the President about the matter.
“The issue here is, was it necessary (to replace Comar)? Look what had happened when we had a fire,” Rama said.
The mayor hit the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 7, headed by Director Ma. Louisa Hadjula, for transferring Comar without consulting him.
Although he doesn’t want to count favors, Rama pointed out that the two brand-new fire trucks of the BFP came from the City.
The City also initiated the improvement of the San Nicolas Fire Station, among others. He said the City also provides the BFP with fuel.
“Usahay malimtan na nila ba. Good manners and right conduct dictates that they should consult me,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fire Officer 3 Fernando Rota, FO3 Romeo Napua, FO3 Stephen Prieto, Noel Miñoza and Senior Fire Office 1 Gilberto Solon were given a certification of citation by the Humane Society International (HSI) for rescuing a cat when a fire hit Sitio Panagdait, Barangay Mabolo last July 13.
“They are brave men who have given unselfish concern and who took the initiative to provide help not only to humans but to animals as well,” the HSI said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2012.