Hedcor, Aboitiz Foundation boost fire safety in Bukidnon IP communities

SAFETY HEROES. Community volunteers in Barangay Santiago and Maluko, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, gear up for intensive firefighting training, ready to protect their communities.
SAFETY HEROES. Community volunteers in Barangay Santiago and Maluko, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, gear up for intensive firefighting training, ready to protect their communities.

IN AN effort to bolster safety in indigenous peoples (IP) community, Hedcor, in collaboration with the Aboitiz Foundation, initiated a firefighting skills training program for Barangay Santiago and Maluko in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

This initiative addresses the significant challenges posed by the remote location and challenging terrain of Barangay Santiago, which impede rapid response times from the Bureau of Fire Protection during fire emergencies.

SAFETY HEROES. Community volunteers in Barangay Santiago and Maluko, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, gear up for intensive firefighting training, ready to protect their communities.
SAFETY HEROES. Community volunteers in Barangay Santiago and Maluko, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, gear up for intensive firefighting training, ready to protect their communities.

To tackle these challenges, 20 IP community volunteers from Barangay Santiago and Barangay Maluko have completed the firefighting training program, directly benefiting nearly 8,000 residents in the area.

The program's successful implementation marks a pivotal step in strengthening the fire emergency response capabilities of these barangays, setting a new standard for community safety initiatives across the region.

The comprehensive training equipped Barangays Santiago and Maluko with essential firefighting skills and equipment to effectively manage fire incidents. This initiative aims to mitigate fire risks and protect residential areas and the wider community.

The provided equipment includes heavy-duty fire rescue helmets, utility gloves, headlamps, stainless steel buckets, drums, emergency whistles, rechargeable megaphones, first aid kits, bandages, blood pressure apparatus, and fire extinguishers.

Jesson Honlay, a Barangay Santiago organic rescuer, shared, "Kini nga programa nakahatag kanamo og dako nga kahibalo ug gahum. Karon, aduna na kami'y kahanas ug kompiyansa nga maka responde dayon sa mga emerhensya, nga makasiguro sa kaluwasan ug kahimsog  sa among komunidad (This program has been profoundly empowering. We now possess the skills and confidence needed to respond swiftly to fire emergencies, ensuring the safety and well-being of our community)."

Participants underwent intensive, hands-on training that covered fundamental firefighting techniques, including the use of fire extinguishers, handling gas leaks, operating fire trucks, and executing bucket relays.

The training was led by SF02 Rafael Corona, Manolo Fortich Municipal Fire Marshall, who underscored its importance. "This training is crucial for our community. It enhances our firefighting capabilities and fosters a heightened sense of preparedness and resilience among residents," he said.

The trained responders are also well-prepared to assist in emergencies at Hedcor plants located near these barangays, thereby extending their impact and ensuring broader community safety.

Hedcor President and COO Rolando Pacquiao emphasized the significance of this initiative. "By imparting critical knowledge and equipping our communities with essential tools, we are not only enhancing their emergency response capabilities but also fostering a culture of safety and resilience. This initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to supporting and empowering the communities we serve," Pacquiao said.

Hedcor is the renewable energy asset manager of Aboitiz Power Corporation. PR

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