TACLOBAN

Tacloban Rescue Unit tops disaster, humanitarian response

SINCE 2016, the Tacloban Rescue Unit (Tacru) continues to dominate in the annual Gawad Kalasag's "Search for Excellence" in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Humanitarian Assistance for Best Local Government Emergency Management and Response category.

"Tacru's aim is to provide immediate response and care to patients or victims who are in distress, and we are on 24 hours daily shifts, being the role model of the region's rescue teams," said Lutgarda Barredo-Raagas, Tacru chief.

"Our goal is to provide quality and efficient service to all the people of Tacloban and to the whole Region 8," she added.

Established on August 2, 2000 under the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), Tacru has 30 organic personnel with 60 volunteer members including junior rescue. Its motto is "Service to Mankind."

Tacru has already acquired three ambulances where one of which is an "advanced life support ambulance" and one pick-up truck.

It is also equipped with extrication tools and equipment for collapsed structures brought by earthquakes, high angle rescue, water search and rescue, and mountain search and rescue.

"All equipment are readily available during emergencies and disasters," Barredo-Raagas told SunStar Philippines.

Tacru's other services include standard first aid, basic life support, psychological first aid, and ambulance operation.

Barredo-Raagas said acloban has high demand of emergency response.

"Though Tacru is on 24/7 daily shifts, still there are times that emergency calls are simultaneously happening," she said.

On average, the rescue unit is responding to five to 10 emergency calls daily.

"But there are times that we reached to 15-18 responses a day, including the request for medical transport," added Barredo-Raagas.

Tacru continues to excel in the delivery of its services because of the assistance given by the city officials and other stakeholders.

"As the emergency and rescue arm of the City Government of Tacloban, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to our supportive City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, our CDRRM Officer Ildebrando Bernadas and to all those who have helped Tacru in one way or another," Barredo-Raagas during the Gawad Kalasag awarding ceremony last August 20.

Tacru also thanked the partnership and support from other non-governmental emergency rescue teams like the Tacloban Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade and Tacloban Delta Volunteer, Fire, Rescue and EMS.

Meanwhile, Tacru opened its doors to young volunteers in the city through its Junior Rescue "to serve as advocates of disaster risk reduction and management."

"The Tacloban City Rescue Unit has created Tacru Junior Rescue to maximize the young people's time and skills through helping people in their community and taking them away from the large possibility of being influenced by drugs or any vices which causes families to fall apart; a balance in which they spend their time more wisely and do more productive things, which in turn gives them the privilege of being role models to their families and neighbors, and enables them to gain respect from people in their society," Tacru said.

For emergency response, contact Tacloban City Rescue Unit Hotline: 0906-457-2852 / (053) 888-0291, email: taclobanrescueunit02@gmail.com. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TaclobanCityRescueUnit/. (SunStar Philippines)


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