By: Arthea Marie M. Genova and Trinidad R. Sager
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Rizal, together with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) – Antipolo City held a Fire Protection and Awareness Campaign last May 3 in the University of Rizal System (URS)-Antipolo Campus. With the theme “Safety First: Be Prepared, Be Safe”, BFP Antipolo City professionals shared their expertise and knowledge on issues and queries regarding fire emergency safety and delivering first aid treatment during a crisis.
University Campus Nurse Joyce Negapatan delivered the Opening Remarks and reflected on the importance of emergency preparedness in the forms of drills and awareness campaigns concerning community resilience. DOST-Rizal Provincial Director Fernando Ablaza highlighted that these drills and awareness campaigns are a privilege and opportunity for learning life skills since it is significant and necessary not just in schools and workplaces but also in our homes.
SF01 Nicole Maniwang and his team of Fire Safety Officers from the BFP led the activity for students, teaching staff, and the security team of URS-Antipolo Campus and DOST personnel.
There were lively exchanges as authorities from the BFP demonstrated to students what to do in real-life emergencies. SF01 Maniwang focused on topics including the damages and losses perpetrated by fire, the five classes of fire, the sources of fire, first aid for minimal wounds and burns, how to utilize a fire extinguisher, and the dos and don’ts in case of a fire emergency.
He reiterated, “There is no such thing as fireproof materials; they’re only fire-resistant, everything is flammable,” while talking about the common sources of fire.
A dialogue ensued where students asked questions on possible circumstances and were responded with examples of proper actions to take in dire situations. These were coupled with graphic images of possible results if not followed appropriately.
URS-Antipolo National Service Training Program (NSTP) Coordinator Engr. John Dennis Espiritu expressed his gratitude to BFP-Antipolo, DOST-Rizal, University Medical and Red Cross Team, and URS-Antipolo Campus Director Dr. Danilo Pascual for the support towards raising awareness on the safety of university facilities and homes. He added that being aware and knowledgeable of first aid and fire preparedness is part of our community service duties.
The presentation was followed by a series of educational practical exercises that was arranged by BFP-Antipolo. DOST-Rizal and URS-Antipolo Campus personnel, especially the security and maintenance teams, were encouraged to participate since they are always on-site and the first to respond if an emergency arises. Students were also urged by the BFP to take part in this hands-on segment of the campaign.
Demonstrations in the proper use of fire extinguishers, the correct posture while using emergency water hoses, and various methods of extinguishing fires were carried out. Meanwhile, a fire drill was conducted and students were also shown the appropriate way of providing first aid to victims of emergencies.
In his message, DOST-Rizal Provincial Director Ablaza said, “Ang sakuna ay hindi pinaplano at dumarating ito sa hindi nating inaasahang panahon. Bahagi rin ng ating responsibilidad ang pag hahanda sa pamamagitan ng pagattend sa drills at pag dagdag ng awareness for disasters upang mapanatili ang kaligtasan ng lahat.”