44 barangays in Cebu City have fire trucks

44 barangays in Cebu City have fire trucks
SunStar File/Amper Campaña

FORTY-FOUR barangays in Cebu City have their own fire trucks, according to the local fire department. This means that 55 percent of the total 80 barangays in the city can respond swiftly to fire emergencies.

In the data the Cebu City Fire Office (CCFO) sent to SunStar Cebu on Saturday, March 9, 2024, it was revealed that out of the 44 barangays with fire trucks, 22 are located in the first or North District of Cebu City, and an equal number are situated in the second or South District.

Based on the list, barangays in the North District that own fire trucks include Capitol Site, Sta. Cruz, Sambag II, San Antonio, Ermita, Santo Niño, Tejero, San Roque, Tinago, T.Padilla, Lorega, Carreta, Kamputhaw, Apas, Lahug, Barrio Luz, Hipodromo, Mabolo, Talamban, Bacayan, San Jose, and Pulang Bato.

In the South District, identified barangays with fire trucks are Bulacao, Poblacion Pardo, Inayawan, Cogon Pardo, Kinasang-an, Basak San Nicolas, Basak Pardo, Quiot, Buhisan, Punta Princesa, Tisa, Labangon, Guadalupe, Mambaling, Duljo Fatima, Sawang Calero, Suba, Pasil, San Nicolas Proper, Pahina San Nicolas, Sapangdako, and Kalunasan.

Senior Fire Office (SFO) 2 Wendell Villanueva, information officer of CCFO, said that although there are only a little over half of the barangays in Cebu, having this number of barangays with fire trucks is already a great help.

He said these barangay fire trucks, which are operated by barangay fire brigades, serve as force multipliers to the Bureau of Fire Protection-run fire stations.

"These trucks are very helpful because they act as our first responders. Fire incidents usually occur in residential areas within barangays, so they can immediately respond since they are located within their respective area of responsibility," he said.

Villanueva added that barangay-owned fire trucks are usually smaller compared to the ones that the BFP-owned fire vehicles operate, but they come in handy because they can easily penetrate residential areas with small access roads.

He added that since members of these barangay fire brigades are residents as well, they serve as guides to the BFP fire personnel during fire operations.

Under the CCFO, there are a total of 10 BFP-run fire stations in Cebu City, including Pardo Fire Substation, Talamban Fire Substation, Pahina Central Fire Substation, Parian Fire Substation, San Nicolas Fire Substation, Labangon Fire Substation, Lahug Fire Substation, Guadalupe Fire Substation, Mabolo Fire Substation, and Cebu Business Park Fire Substation.

He said barangays are not required to have their own fire trucks but they would appreciate it if they will secure one that will be used during times of emergencies.

"Asking the barangay officials, encouraging them to really organize their own barangay volunteer brigades since it really is helpful... In the event there are emergencies, they can immediately call on their barangay fire volunteer brigade," Villanueva said.

He clarified that these volunteers of the barangay fire brigade have undergone mandatory and non-negotiable 40-hour training with certification for their competencies to respond during emergencies.

Villanueva said the training is composed of first-aid response, firefighting training, basic life support, rappelling, and other essential training in fire and other emergencies.

He added that most of the time, it is the barangay themselves who procure their own barangay fire trucks and do not necessarily come from the Cebu City Government.

"Hopefully, soon, all barangay in Cebu City will have their own fire brigades and acquire their own fire trucks and as well as their own ambulances," he added.

Meanwhile, Villanueva urged the public to always practice fire safety even though the Fire Prevention Month celebration this March will be over, emphasizing the ongoing need for awareness and preparedness to safeguard lives and property.

Under Proclamation 115-A issued on February 24, 1966, he said during March, they would promote fire prevention and preparedness, especially during the dry season when the risk of fires is higher due to dry weather conditions.

In an earlier report, there were 64 fire incidents in Cebu City in the first two months of the year, causing destruction worth P39.22 million, which is 75.18 percent higher than the P22.4 million damages incurred in 35 fire incidents during the same period last year. (KJF)


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