THE Bureau of Fire Protection in the Cordillera region continue to broaden and deepen its expertise particularly in the field of anti-terrorism to ensure their readiness.
BFP-Cordillera regional director Senior Superintendent Maria Sofia Mendoza explained their special rescue unit composed of firefighters who have undergone specialized training will enable them to conduct rescue operations when needed and allow them to mount a proper response to other catastrophes and emergencies aside from fire.
"Our trainings regarding anti-terrorism is focused on how to deal with hazardous materials used by terrorists as weapons of mass destruction. This is aside from us augmenting the PNP and AFP considered as first responders during anti-terrorism operations," said Mendoza.
The BFP continues to build its competencies regarding new threats or those not widely recognized as falling under its ambit.
"We have a unit in the BFP that helps address its critical need to keep its WMD (weapons of mass destruction)/HAZMAT (hazardous materials) capabilities sharp – hazardous materials and hazardous operations management capabilities, which include planning and preparedness, prevention, response, cleanup and recovery in the event of spillage release of hazardous materials or waste," added Mendoza.
BFP is also a member of the Anti-Terrorism Council and the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime, which are concerned with the development of strategies to help respond to WMD threats.
Aside from anti-terrorism readiness, the BFP have been tasked by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in retrieving cadavers after a crisis situation.
"During the five month old Marawi siege, the DILG have given us the task of retrieving and collecting cadavers after the clearing and sanitation operations of the AFP and the PNP of the area. This was also our role during Typhoon Yolanda being a member of the NDRRMC," Mendoza added.