With a fleet of 19 fire trucks, 16 water tankers, and thousands of trained responders, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is on full alert to conduct fire response in line with the Fire Prevention Month.
The PRC supports the campaign of Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to raise fire prevention awareness throughout the month of March, which is said to have the most number of fire incidents due to peaking of temperatures.
PRC Chairman Richard Gordon urged the public to remain vigilant, especially throughout this month, and be informed of key fire safety tips.
“The PRC is always on the ground to provide prompt response in case of fire incidents, but we must also learn how to reduce the risks in case of emergencies and, on top, how to prevent it. Let every month of the year be a time for awareness and vigilance,” Gordon said.
PRC data showed that it has responded to 134 fire incidents so far in 2018, while in 2017, the PRC responded in 436 fire incidents.
Last March 1, the PRC responded to a fire incident in Brgy. Tatalon in Quezon City, which affected 2,200 individuals, and in Brgy. Tanza in Navotas, where some 40 houses were damaged.
This year’s theme, “Ligtas na Pilipinas ang ating hanagad, pag-iingat sa sunog sa sarili ipatupad,” aims to promote to the public that diligence is key to prevent fires, which usually root from faulty electrical connections, lit cigarette butts, and unattended stoves.
Aside from prevention, the PRC issues tips on how to reduce risks in case of fire:
• Make sure every member of the household knows where the fire escape is.
• Agree on a meeting place at a safe distance from the home.
• Teach everyone at home how to use a fire extinguisher.
• If smoke, heat, or flames are blocking your exit route, stay in the room with the door closed.
• If you can, move close to a window and wave something bright (a flashlight, glow stick, or a brightly colored cloth) to signal for help.
• Once you are out, stay out.
• If you haven't already called the fire department, call them once you make it to safety.
The PRC received was cited by the United Fire Association as a volunteer fire brigade with the most fire response in 2016 and 2017.
The Philippine Red Cross, as the foremost humanitarian organization in the country, has 103 chapters with two million volunteers nationwide that is always first, always ready, and always there to provide round-the- clock humanitarian assistance.
PRC services include disaster management, health, welfare, blood, volunteer service, and Red Cross youth.