Responders of tomorrow

Photo Ops

BEAUTY pageants, basketball leagues, and dance contests are some of the usual projects of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in barangays all over the country. It's never bad to have these types of projects especially on the growth and development of our youth. And as a youth, a question still lingers on me on what projects should chairpersons implement during their term.

Today, more and more SK councils are going beyond short-term projects despite having budget constraints, ranging from livelihood, personal development growth, environmental consciousness efforts, and technical and vocational literacy. But how many of SKs in Davao City are into disaster response preparedness and lifesaving training?

In this case, SK and youth of Barangay Crossing Bayabas in Toril, Davao City, led by their chairman Bejay Dajay, are one of the SKs in Davao City equipping their youth with the knowledge of Basic First Aid and Fire Fighting through a four-day training at Hope Mountain in Ulas, Davao City with 18 participants.

The training was handled by the Bureau of Fire and Protection and Matina Emergency Response Team (MERT) starting with a classroom discussion on fire fighting and first aid.

There were no laughing faces during their practical exam as the participants clearly treat the drill as a real scenario of having an earthquake along with fire scenarios with collapsed structures with casualties.

According to Dajay, who was also a participant, the training was to prepare and to train the youth of Crossing Bayabas to be the first responders in times of natural calamities due to the shortage of responders in their area.

"Today, we only have around six volunteers in our barangay, that's why we came up with this program to establish links between the SK and the barangay," Dajay said.

Dajay added that there are also some areas in their barangay that are fire- and flood-prone, that is why having this training is beneficial to both the youth and the whole barangay.

Despite the delays due to coordination processes as the training was originally planned to take place last October, it finally took place last November 11-14, 2019.

"Our goal for this activity is to deploy the participants to augment the scarce rescue responders in our barangay. They are not obliged to report to the barangay but as standby volunteers when they are needed," Dajay said.

It may be a case-to-case basis for every barangay on what projects must be prioritized but in the case of Davao City, residents especially the youth and SKs must be well-versed and well-equipped on disaster response capabilities because despite having our Central 911, it's never enough to cater to the 1.5 million population of Davao City.

Maybe at this time, we can least prioritize the beauty pageants and turn our attention in creating the youth responders of tomorrow.


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