TO improve their response to fires, Cebu City Hall will give 22 barangays P46 million worth of firefighting equipment.

The 22 barangays are those that already have an established fire auxiliary brigade.

They are Barangays Luz, Hipodromo, Sta. Cruz, Apas, Ermita, Tejero, Mabolo, Sambag II and Sto. Niño in the north district; and Barangays Suba, Labangon, Guadalupe, Tisa, Inayawan, Quiot, Pasil, Basak San Nicolas, Punta Princesa, Poblacion Pardo, Sawang Calero and Cogon Pardo in the south district.

In an interview yesterday, Peace and Order Program head and Councilor Dave Tumulak said the City needs to assist the barangay fire auxiliary brigades as they are the ones who immediately respond to fire alarms.

Kun naay alarma sa sunog, dako kaayo ni sila og ikatabang labi na sa pag-penetrate sa mga di passable nga lugar. It’s high time nga ato silang hatagan sa safety gears (During fires, they can penetrate areas that are difficult to access. They should be given gears),” he said.

The firefighting equipment to be bought will depend on the request of the 22 barangays.

Accessories

Based on their letter-request addressed to Mayor Michael Rama, the barangays are asking for 18 basic firefighting equipment and accessories.

These include full body harness, stretchers, portable fire pumps, delivery hoses, batteries, fire helmets, firefighting boots, firefighting gloves, thermal imaging cameras and video capturing machines.

“With the increasing number of households within our respective areas, fires are inevitable and we need basic firefighting equipment and accessories to respond to an alarm,” the barangays said.

Tumulak said the equipment will be bid out by the City soon.

The councilor met with some of the barangay captains yesterday morning at his office to make sure there are no more changes on the list of equipment they are asking.

Skycrapers

In a related development, Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella yesterday said he will meet with building administrators of all skyscrapers in the city to discuss their plans on how to address a fire and other emergencies.

“There is a mushrooming now of skyscrapers in the city. The question is do we have enough firefighting equipment? Are we prepared? Because we have to admit and realize the fact, without sounding alarmist, that we are a calamity-prone community,” he said.

Labella said the City wants to know if they have programs for emergency and disaster, considering that there is no equipment in the city that will address a fire or an emergency in the top floors of tall buildings.

The meeting will be held Tuesday next week.