In the first 3 months...
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, March 26, (PIA)--Making a blazing entrance in 2015, fires in Bohol consumed a total of P4.6 million in the first three months of the year.
It also rendered at least 39 families homeless, including those who lived in 17 houses in a fire that razed a compound in heavily populated Nasingin Island, Getafe last March 19.
And the fire fighting capability of Bohol, based on its inventory of equipment, could hardly cope with the task at hand.
According to reports from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), fire gutted some P1,402,938.80 in houses and properties in January, another P1,954, 500 in February and P1,306, 300 until March 26 to a total fire damage of P4,663,738.80.
With the sizable amount lost to fires, Senior Fire Officer 1 Diomedes Butawan Jr., reminds everyone to make fire prevention a daily practice.
"It's different if you know what to do and do something about it," he said during the weekly Kapihan sa PIA aired over DyTR Thursday.
What he meant by that was the same thing the theme for the Fire Prevention Month in March was saying.
The theme of the month is "Kaligtasan sa Sunog Alamin, Gawin at Isabuhay Natin."
Pitifully undermanned, the BFP in Bohol accounts only 260 firemen, trying to protect 1.4 million people, Butawan said.
Having hands full keeping their prime in their firefighting tasks, fire officers also need to multi-task to run offices administrative and operational tasks, he added.
Butawan, who also sits as chief of the Communications Section, said for a full fire team of 7 men, they now have to contend with a team of two: driver and fireman.
The agency's volunteer fire brigade (VFB) however operates as a support team, according to the BFP.
As mandated by the Fire Code of the Philippines, the BFP is tasked to form volunteer brigades to help firemen perform their tasks in fire alarms: performing tasks as rolling and unrolling fire hoses, erecting fire ladders and snapping hoses to hydrants and fire engines, BFP explained.
Despite all these, Bohol still needs about 20 operational fire stations with at least fire trucks and engines, if the odds for getting better fire alarm responses, the BFP pressed.
Of Bohol's 27 towns with fire stations, not all the BFP inventoried fire trucks are in good working conditions, Butawan added.
The deplorable situation then necessitates more fire prevention that making it a daily practice would be a huge help, BFP stated. (rac/PIABohol)