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Mr. FIREMAN: By: FO2 Francisco Ruiz Montevirgen

Your Hero Next Door Everybody wants to be a hero because everybody loves a hero … Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Wolverine or any other comic superheroes from DC and Marvel Comics were, for sure, have their own horde of followers. People especially the little children loves them because they saves lives. That’s one characteristic that a hero must possess: an insatiable thirst to save and protect the lives of others. A hero is someone who defends the oppressed just like Rizal… someone who protects the helpless just like Bonifacio… a hero attends to the needy just like Mother Theresa…. they inspires… an inspiration that serves as a catalyst for others to do the same. A fireman was mandated by law to perform the job of preserving the lives of others through an efficient and effective fire protection. A compelling task to perform considering the magnitude of its scope as well as the availability of our resources and manpower. Every fireman stake their lives whenever there are fire alarms. The route towards the fire scene and even at the fire scene itself were filled with risks and danger. A danger that a fireman must live and cope up with everyday as member of the fire service. A fireman charge inside a burning structure while others rushes outside and seek refuge. He breathe deadly gases that emanates from it. He live through the experience of hell here on earth... a taste of eternal flame. But what makes him a hero? A hero that rises on the occasion. A hero that is compelled to act upon compelling situation… a hero that would grab the opportunity to shine as a hero and not just a show off for 15 minutes of fame… a hero that would neutralize the villain that seek to oppress his people. A fireman is brave and courageous. For him, courage is not the absence of fear. It is knowing and feeling what fear is and yet still doing the right thing despite of the overwhelming odds. He is determined and dedicated. His perseverance will yield a more conducive and a much safer community to dwell in. He is enduring and self-less. He believes in the virtue of self sacrifice. He thinks more of others rather than his own personal welfare. He saves life by endangering his own. He treats firefighting as a profession and not as a livelihood. And most of all, he is humble but firm… he shows humility during triumph yet stands proud of things that he had done for the people that he serves. He doesn’t shows that he’s on top or above others, he stands together with the others. As Charles de Montesquieu said, “to become truly great, one has to stand with the people, not above them.” And for me that’s your friendly neighborhood Mr. Fireman: Your true blue hero next door.



Manila Fire District Supports Anti-Smoking Campaign in the City of Manila By: FO2 Francisco Ruiz Montevirgen Last November 11, 2011 (11-11-11) the city government of Manila headed by its chief executive Mayor Alfredo S. Lim together with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority headed by its Chairman Francis Tolentino launched the anti-smoking campaign in the city of Manila. Government employees, students, local officials, NGO’s and MFD personnel attended the said occasion wearing yellow shirts to signify their commitment for a Smoke Free Manila in front of the historic Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall. With the theme, “Magkaisa para sa Pagbabago”, both Lim and Tolentino unveiled the winning poster for the anti-smoking program and the “pledge wall”. They also initiated the signing of commitment on the pledge wall, with Lim using his signature spray paint to highlight the signing of the pledge. MFD members headed by no less than its District Director Senior Superintendent Joselito A. Quibin participated by placing “smoke free stickers” in passing vehicles within the vicinity of the Bonifacio Shrine while a fire truck and EMS ambulance of the MFD sounded their sirens simultaneously.






Preparing for the Inevitable By: FO2 Francisco Ruiz Montevirgen



Ever wonder to live in a world that’s full of water and no dry land to settle on? Kevin Costner’s 1995 movie entitled “Waterworld” may have predicted the future of earth. In this movie, people who survived the post-apocalyptic earth have learned to live their lives above water by making makeshift communities. The movie have shown a possible scenario of our world in the event that the polar caps of earth melted. A possibility that all of earth’s land forms will be submerged under water because of rising sea levels due to climate change that brought significant changes on our atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere.

climate changes. By 2050, climate degradation could bring the figures of climate refugees up to an estimated total of 200 million people.

With the current trend, the world that we are living right now may turn into a “waterworld” in no time. Geologists said that sea levels could rise between 7 to 23 inches at the end of the century if the current rate persists. The Philippines which is an archipelago could be hit hard by these changes since many of our people dwells along the coastal lines.

The Disaster Preparedness Program of the Philippines, as always, is a far cry from our counterparts even in our region in the South East Asia. We all know the risk and dangers of our terrains and topographic location. Our experts and researchers have already identified disaster prone areas through geo hazard mappings. Unfortunately, our leaders seems to be reluctant in having a proactive approach in this matter. The lack of political will, formulation and implementation of sound and well designed disaster preparedness programs imperils the lives of our innocent ‘kababayans’ who were left at the brink of uncertainty.

Recent typhoons that struck the country have evidently shown that some things aren’t the same as they were before. Typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, Pedring, Reming, Quiel, Ramon and the most recent and most destructive in terms of casualty Sendong. High volume of rain showers brought severe flash floods that resulted to massive destruction of properties and claimed countless innocent lives. Cities and provinces from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were greatly affected by these flash floods. The abnormalities in our weather systems is a clear manifestation of climate change, as water level easily rises at the fastest rate ever. Even the scenic Roxas Boulevard, where the famous Manila Bay Sunset is being viewed was not spared by flooding, as a result, the sea wall were destroyed by strong current and many establishment including the Senate of the Philippines, Sofitel Hotel, US Embassy and other establishment near the Roxas Boulevard area were submerge into water during the height of Typhoon Pedring’s surge. The United Nations Environment Programme have recently announced that some 50 million people have become climate refugees – and were displace from their homes due to drastic

The Philippines, which is ranked 3rd out of 173 countries in terms of vulnerability to disaster risks and natural hazards is “heavily affected by extreme natural events” due to its exposed position in the Pacific Ocean as noted by the World Risk Index 2011 of the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security.

The effects of climate change is inevitable and starting to manifest in almost all parts of the globe. The Philippines, a tropical archipelagic country surrounded by huge bodies of water is most vulnerable if the sea level continues to rise. Water, our most trusted ally during conflagrations is slowly becoming one of our worst nightmares due to the magnitude of destructions that it can bring to us. The leadership of our organization should, I think, invest and prepare for worst case scenarios and established a systematic and well organized Water Search and Rescue unit that will be tapped if the situation warrants. The number of casualties and the amount of damages that was incurred from these tragedies maybe a preview of much worse things to come. And we, as one of the public safety providers in our country should start to ‘reinvent’ ourselves and give another dimension to our job as firefighters. Capability building especially in the aspect of water search and rescue operations should be made as one of our priorities to prepare ourselves in case that another catastrophic event similar to Typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng and Sendong struck our country. We don’t need to mutate and develop gills and webbed feet like Mr. Costner did in his movie to survive, all we need is a properly designed disaster preparedness program that would focus on the enhancement of our capability in the aspect of water search and rescue. A strong political will and the support of course of the local and national government for the implementation of this program. With these, we could properly adapt with the inevitable changes brought about by climate change.




At about 0140H 28 December 2011, a phone call by SG. Richard Aperong of Botikang Pinoy was received by the station, regarding a fire in progress at Johnvier Laboratory Clinic #607 Boni Avenue, Barangay Plainview, Mandaluyong City. Immediately upon receiving the call, all available fire engine of this command and responded at the above cited address. Upon arrival at the fire scene, First level of alarm was tapped at about 0143H by INSP REYNAN E GECANA, BFP, Central station commander. Second level of alarm was tapped at about 0144H 28 December 2011 by the latter. While suppressing the fire, concerned citizen informed the responders that there may be victims trapped inside the burning building; the tenant and owner of Johnvier Laboratory Clinic. Immediately after hearing that statement, INSP GECANA together with FO1 Cagol, Christopher and FO2 Bauza, Rodelio M hurriedly run to the gate and forcibly open the main gate using vault cutter in order to enter the said building while FO3 Abad, Mitchel R still suppressing the fire using the turret. They entered the structure and were met by heavy smoke and zero visibility. They work quickly as the fire continued to spread. They found out that there are five victims trapped inside the burning building that are already suffocated, in panic and shouting for help. Teamwork came into play as they have worked all together. They were monitoring the progress of the fire in the entire time they were inside. The situation was getting worst that’s why they find ways and means to lead the victims out of the burning building. The victims were brought to the adjacent hospital for first



aid especially the children. C/INSP NAHUM B TARROZA, BFP, City Fire Marshal, taps third level of alarm at about 0146H as the smoke affected the adjacent hospital whose patients have been temporarily evacuated in a safer location to avoid the volume of smoke engulfing the area. The responding team continued the operation until such time that the fire was put under control and finally declared fire is out at about 0230H and 0238H 28 December 2011, respectively. The early reporting of the incident and the timely arrival of the responding firefighting units greatly help to save the lives of the trapped family and contributed to the early suppression of the fire and avoiding further damaged to the structure and adjacent establishment especially the Hospital. The presence of Hon. Benjamin C. Abalos Jr., City Mayor, was also cited at the fire scene and personally attended to the needs of those who were affected. No one from the responding firefighters was killed during this particular fire incident except FO2 Bauza who suffered minor injury due to the falling debris that hit him while rescuing the victims. Responders show the act of conspicuous courage and gallantry in the face of formidable life-saving situation and for demonstrating exemplary efficiency, devotion, and loyalty in the duty assignment, bravery and heroism.


Who hasn’t seen Backdraft?

If you’re a firefighter by profession, chances are, you’ve seen this movie more than once.

Here’s a quick summary of the film according to Hal Erickson, Rovi: “The sons of a Chicago fireman who gave his life in the performance of his duties, firefighting brothers Kurt Russell and William Baldwin carry their lifelong sibling rivalry into their work. Russell is convinced that Baldwin hasn’t got what it takes to remain in the fire department. Baldwin is transferred to a “safe” assignment, assisting arson investigator Robert DeNiro, who is trying to make sense of a series of fires involving an oxygen-induced ball of fire called a backdraft. The investigation reveals a link between corrupt alderman J. T. Walsh and imprisoned pyromaniac Donald Sutherland. The trail of evidence leads Baldwin to suspect that his brother Russell, a much-decorated hero, may be the “inside” man setting up the arsons. ” Truth is, there aren’t much quality firefighting-oriented films to indulge yourselves into nowadays. But make no mistake, firefighters themselves wouldn’t pass on the chance to get to see the latest fire flick. You would most likely hear them argue about several technicalities of the film and how they should be carried out, or not, in real life. Needless to say, these type of films certainly leave a mark on the lives of firefighters, to the extent that they could totally relate with the film and would consider such movies memorable. It’s a fresh source of pride for these guys, knowing the risks that they take are honored, celebrated and immortalized in such films; uplifting the low-morale of some of our fellow firefighters who are fed up with the rigors of work. For us, these films are more than just movies- it’s our life.






Pasay City Fire Station

As posted on

Gather ‘round, dear readers. This Halloween, we have one long vacation ahead of us. And of course, most would observe the occasion by visiting their faithful departed in their respective cemeteries. But some, those bored with the usual routine who simply have a taste for the horrific, have something else in mind... Ghost hunting. But before you go packing your PKE meters and strapping your photon packs, may I recommend a place that most say, would not disappoint the curious, satisfy the fanatic, and transform the skeptic into a true believer. Behold, the not-so-abandoned piece of property where a tragedy-stricken club once stood - the Ozone Disco. But seriously, apart from it being the fire incident which made headlines back in March 1996, the Ozone Disco Tragedy, which was consequently branded as “the worst nightclub fire” incident in the world, left everyone with a lasting impression of how an unsuspecting night of merry-making can drastically turn into the worst combination of fatal circumstances. According to an article by Wikipedia entitled “Ozone Disco Club Fire”: “The fire broke out on March 18, 1996. At the time of the fire, it was estimated that there were around 350 patrons and 40 club employees inside Ozone Disco, though it had been approved for occupancy for only 35 persons. Most of the club guests were high school and college students attending graduation or end-of-the-school-year celebrations. Survivors reported seeing sparks flying inside the disc jockey’s booth shortly after midnight, followed by smoke which they thought was part of the party plan of the DJ.” “Many of the bodies were discovered along the corridor leading to the only exit, piled up waist-high. Quezon City officials were quoted as saying that the club’s emergency exit had been blocked by a new building next door, and that there was no proper fire exit. It was also reported that the exit had been locked from the outside by the club’s guards, who had thought that a riot had taken place.” The tragedy resulted into 162 fatalities and left 95 people injured.  Wikipedia ended the article by stating: “The incident was featured in fantasy-horror TV show (also in GMA Network) named “Lihimng Gabi” in December 1996.” It gets even better, folks. Wikipedia released another article which was entitled: “List of reportedly haunted locations in the world”. The ‘list’ of 15 countries, according to Wikipedia, included the Philippines. And under ‘Philippines’, it is stated:

all be corrected. If only the the right choices were made and the violations were corrected . If only the welfare of everyone was taken into consideration . If only stricter rules and penalties were crafted before to ensure the proper observance of the law. But, as history has shown us, when things can go wrong, they will. This Ozone Disco fire incident has indeed gone down as one of the nation›s classic stories of sheer irony. Wikipedia even asks: «Has anyone been made accountable for such a tragedy?”  And now we have vacated structures like that of the Ozone Disco Club which serve more as a source of hair-rasing stories instead of the essentiallyterrifying reminder of the negligence, as well as the consequences of such wrong practices that we all face, with regards to fire safety. How many Ozone Disco Tragedies do we need before we can seriously consider the importance of fire safety?

“The Ozone Disco was a disco in Quezon City that caught on fire. Due to mass panicking, nobody was able to get out. Some people near the location hear ghostly disco music in their houses at night and see faint people dancing.»

Chances are, there are still establishments out there that prioritize profit over safety. And you can bet that history will again find a way to repeat itself.

Wikipedia is not alone in disseminating such lists that would serve as guides to the para-normally curious. The websites and www. pitched in with their own set of top scariest places in the country, somehow validating and reinforcing Wikipedia›s horror list. And guess what, yes - Ozone Disco is on their fright lists!

On the lighter side, a fresh flow of horror stories will almost be guaranteed.

While all of these may be widely accepted, except of course, by the fainthearted, the different versions of ghost stories that the tragedy has diminished into undermine a more important lesson behind the incident. And that is the less-appealing fire safety issues. The Ozone Disco Tragedy should not be a much-celebrated source of horror it has now been reduced into. It should not have happened in the first place. In fact, like for most establishments with issues regarding fire safety, it can

That being said, let’s try to put things into perspective. How? As long as there are establishments willing to risk safety to save a considerable amount of profit while defying laws and restrictions, ghost stories would be as fresh and as common as the number of scorched victims retrieved per fire incident. The bad news however, is when the next wandering SOUL that will star in the next horror story everyone will be talking about would be YOURS... In that case, the Crypt Keeper would never run out of fresh horrific episodes for everyone to indulgence themselves into. 



One of my favorite mentors in my college years once shared that training is such a vital part of preparation for a game, you really do train to play. It tops up one’s ability like sharpening a carving knife. You can get away with not doing it for a while, as long as you have reached a certain standard of fitness. On the day I was informed I was one of the seventy- eight lucky applicants who will be moving forward for a month orientation in the Office of the Regional Director, Bureau of Fire Protection- NCR, I knew I am stepping outside my comfort zone and with the idea of engaging to military training, I know I am submitting myself to something that terrifies me. I can say that day one was the toughest part of the orientation. Fire trainees, that is including myself, were told to bring extra everything meaning extra clothing from head to foot. Lots of conversations with my co- trainees gave me the idea of what is going to happen. I have had nothing in mind on what is in store for us that Monday, December 5th 2011, the day which they dubbed it as Breaking Period. Our assigned tactics headed by CINSP RANDOLPH V BIDES called it as a separation of ourselves from the civilian mentality to the uniformedgroup way of thinking. We are tasked to reach a certain level of discipline through the training we are expected to get involve to. As they also emphasized this is in preparation to the role we play in the Bureau. Quoting it from INSP JESSE JAMES SAMANIEGO, the orientation is also a process of getting out from our old selves, which primarily requires us pass through particular stage which called Reception. In this way, we submit ourselves as trainees to whatever our tactics wanted us to execute thus, along the procedure, removing our pride. All of these were made acceptable to me along the way. Moreover, this is for the betterment of every trainee which is part of any entering to this kind of organization. We rolled, we crawled and tasted the beat of the scary reception right after the traditional Monday flag raising ceremony. Most of us are not ready for a scenario like it as pictured in our faces. But the most memorable moment about it is seeing everybody wet and muddy from top to toe and hearing the screaming siren from the fire truck which signals the end of that traditional way of welcoming the recruits. Closed eyes, I felt the dramatic fall of water from the hose it was a relief. The feeling is like the first rain after being burnt brown by the scourging heat of the sun. What I abhorred most is that we are being watched by many but again, it is made understandable because it is part of the general line of orientation. From the Reception until Friday of that same week, Is really the hardest part of the orientation because our physical bodies and minds are still familiarizing to this kind of treatment. It is the adjustment phase to the new learnings plotted for us. And when there is new lesson learned, it would equal to around of mase- mase as our firm tactics always say. Generally, the training that we got from the people who have handled us for the 30 day orientation in ORD BFP NCR is more on improving one’s self physically and mentally. It is found in learning




everything there is to learn, our attitude towards life and behavior. The discipline imposed to us by waking up early in the morning for the reveille at exactly 0400H in Quezon City Memorial Circle to getting into0 the office at a given time is one good example learned from the training. It played a great role in the way we wellness as professionals. The inspirational messages from the guest speakers every Monday during the flag raising ceremonies and lectures from the tactics and from a member of every office in the Bureau gave us a clearer view of the what’s and why’s we are here. Everything that has been shared and imparted plays a great role in the transition stage. I often compare ourselves to Tarantulas which I supposed to suggest as our batch name. Unfortunately for unknown reason we were not obligated to create one. Like Tarantula, they pass through a certain process where they need to shed their exoskeleton in order for them to grow. And relating it to our present situation as Fire Trainees, we are obliged to remove our prides leaving our old selves behind which then make us embrace our new selves which means growing. If a person wishes to change the quality of their life, it is a must to continuously improve their knowledge, attitude and behavior. These are the fundamentals of self improvement which I, I am sure the main objective of the training we had in the orientation and for the same training we will be fulfilling for the next four months in Fire National Training Institute. The attitude we have determines how far our education will take us in life. It reflects what we have in the inside. I remember a line from an author of a book called, Believe which is really a meaningful one and worth sharing. He said: ‘Believe you can and you’ll find that you can! Try and you’ll be surprised at how many good things can happen.’ Again, for my co- recruits, the road that we have been chosen to travel may be different from the usual ways we have taken and roads travelled by many. At this period, it is all about changes. Change in attitude, knowledge and behavior when we fulfill this, then and only then we will be able to see the benefits in life we deserve.



What does it take to be a successful By: INSP. ERVIC S. GAVIERES, BFPC, PIU

Fire Officer?

I stumbled into this article as I was searching for a new topic to share with you. Idealistic as the article may sound, the opinion expressed here actually offers the possibility of a choice - a challenge, even - for everyone in the Fire Service to consider a change for the better with regards to the job everyone does. “To be a successful fire officer, one has to follow the “ins”. Successful fire officers have to take the initiative… to make the most of every opportunity, situation and challenge that come their way. Successful fire officers need to have insight. They have to be passionate about the job and serve the best interests of their personnel… even when they feel that they are being wronged. Successful fire officers have to innovate. They have to think outside of the box on occasion in order to see to what the “big picture” looks like. They should also cultivate innovation amongst their personnel. Not all of the brightest minds in the fire service wear bugles on their collars; some are content with being the grunts and doing the job. Successful fire officers have to have integrity. They are held to higher standard by virtue of their rank, from the newly minted LT to the grizzled old Chief. They have to meet the needs of the Department as a whole and build relationships across the ranks with professionalism. Successful fire officers instruct – passing skills,



expertise and knowledge on to others in order they become more skilled, knowledgeable and experts in their own right. Successful fire officers have instinct….it’s the only thing we that we can trust on the fire floor. It’s the memory of past fires and remembering what worked and what didn’t. It will never be put into print or on a power point. It is created through trial and error and the ability to critique yourself after every job, good or bad. No two fires are alike but every flame is the same. Successful fire officers have to be involved with their personnel. When someone in your crew’s mind is elsewhere, it could be because of problems in their personal life… a breakup, separation or divorce, a sick child, a dying parent, or a diagnosis of a terminal or life altering illness. Lend a sympathetic ear. You may not really get along with that individual, but humanity links us all. If the problem is between members of the company, work to resolve them before it tears the company apart and lowers morale. In life, successful fire officers have to balance their family and personal life with the professional side. Ignoring one or the other can lead to problems at home and at work.” Ron Ayotte, the source of the opinion or insight you have just read, is a 29+ year veteran of the fire service and holds the rank of Deputy Chief with the City of Marlborough (MA) Fire Department. He also works per diem in the

Support Services division of the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services/ Massachusetts Firefighting ACADEMY.



NEWS Members of BFP-Navotas and Volunteer Firefighters respond to flooding due to ‘tsunami like’ storm surge in Manila Bay brought by Typhoon Pedring on Tuesday morning, September 27, 2011 that has taken thousand of families’ washed out their houses along seashore and river bank of the locality. At the height of the storm, Mayor John Rey M. Tiangco made sure that all Navoteños were brought to safe areas through the assistance of Joint Rescue Team which composed of Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, Coast Guard, Navotas Fire and Rescue Volunteers, PNP Navotas and all other volunteer groups. The fast raging water had hit most Barangays of the City. Most calls had been for evacuation transfer and rescuers are out numbered by the people who needed swift water rescue even the number of rescue vehicles such as rubber boats and amphibians were immediately deployed to various areas of the City. In spite of everything, Chief Insp. Paul I Pili, City Fire Marshal ordered to response in the situation and asked the assistance of neighboring Fire District’ Caloocan City to help the people in evacuation during storm surge that hit the seashore of Navotas for more than five hours.

Navotas Firefighters Respond in Severe Floods brought by ‘typhoon pedring’ SFO2 Gabriel A Trinidad, C, PIS/Plans & Programs “This is the first time that the City has encountered a flash flood due to storm surge which destroyed almost 2,000 houses on stilts leaving almost 2,700 homeless families.” Despite the massive destruction to properties left by Typhoon Pedring, the City Health Office of Navotas was relieved to announce that there were no confirmed cases of death directly related to Typhoon Pedring On that day Mayor Tiangco called the attention of the Sangguniang Panglungsod to declare the City under ‘state of calamity’ and ordered immediate allocation of funds for the repair of pumping stations, river dikes and wooden pathways and procurement of basic necessities such as hot meals, relief goods and medicines. “The effect of this natural calamity has not only completely devastated the residents of Navotas but has also brought out the best from Navoteños as various individuals and organizations quickly banded together to help their neighbors, often putting themselves at risk. This selflessness and generosity indeed provide Navotas City Fire Station with continuous prayer and hope as well as preparedness and modernization for a better tomorrow.”





Las Piñas City Fire Station headed by the City Fire Marshal SUPT FELIX B MEDES, Chief Operation SRINSP JOEL L DIWATA, Pilar Fire Sub- Station Commander SRINSP CRISTINA O SOLERO, Chief PIS SFO1 Melencio C Pangan, 140- A Firetruck of Pilar Fire Sub- Station and Crew, and City Health of Las Piñas City Dr. Ely Natividad, joined the Anti- dengue Drive Campaign which aimed at raising the public awareness of the threat of dengue and the role of the community in the prevention of outbreaks. Information and communication is used to urging mobilize barangay’s dengue brigade in the area. Pilar Fire- Sub

Station Crew and all Fire Sub- Station of Las Piñas, assisted the public on once a week community wide clean up drives against dengue which help a lot in reducing cases. The best prevention is to constantly clean surroundings, destroy the breeding grounds of mosquitoes. Measures include removing or regularly draining all water retaining objects and flushing of the drainage. Abandoned lots, houses and establishments should also be included in the search and destroy operations. The anti- dengue clean up drive campaign is a component prevention program of Local Government Unit, Non Government Organization of Las Piñas City.




BFP-Caloocan City Make-Over SFO3 Virgilio Gaviola

The Caloocan Central Fire Station was given a fresh coat of paint, along with some furniture and equipment, by its own personnel and the men and women of Toyota Balintawak (TBK)-Toyota North Edsa (TNE) last October 22, 2011. Dubbed as the “BFP-Caloocan City Make-Over,” the activity was a joint project of the TBK and the TNE. It showed the effort and initiative of City Fire Marshal Superintendent OSCAR T DE ASIS to coordinate with the private sector in furthering the services of the station and upgrading facilities and equipment. On the company’s part, the Saturday activity reflected Toyota’s unwavering commitment to its corporate social responsibility. Under the supervision of HR Manager Melody Manlapaz, over forty men and women wearing the trademark red-and-white Toyota uniform showed up to paint and clean the premises of the central fire station. The rooms they gave particular attention to were the City Fire Marshal’s Office, Administration Unit, Operations Unit, Fire Safety Enforcement Division and Emergency Medical Services.

Ms. Manlapaz candidly said that upon first seeing the station, she thought that it indeed needed some refurbishing. She added that Toyota also provided a number of tables and chairs, filers and a printer for the use of the station. Asked how long it would take to complete the make-over, she said, “until it gets done” even as she estimated completion of the job at around 3 or 4pm. Not leaving the job to sympathetic friends from the private sector, around eighteen fire personnel also joined in the activity. It will be recalled that the Caloocan City Fire Station personnel had previously visited Toyota Balintawak to hold a fire drill. This time around, Toyota employees visited the Caloocan Central Fire Station – and made useful improvements greatly appreciated by fire personnel. It was a wonderful sight to see as Toyota front-liners and Caloocan City fire personnel collaborated on the make-over, and even shared snacks afterwards as music played from a component on a worthwhile Saturday.



MFD Joined the City of Manila in Commemorating the TH

Death Anniversary Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

28 of

On August 21, 1983, a man clad in a white suit was shot at point blank at the tarmac of then Manila International Airport. That man is the face of the opposition at that time against the late strongman, former President Ferdinand Marcos. His death eventually led to a series of demonstrations and sparked the spirit of nationalism among Filipinos to rise up and ask for the restoration of freedom in our country. His death pave the way for the peaceful and world renowned EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION. A revolution that brought down more than two decades of Marcos rule and catapulted his wife, Corazon Aquino to the presidency. Now, twenty eight (28) years later, the Manila Fire District, together with the local government of Manila paid tribute to the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy� Aquino Jr. for his contribution to the restoration of democracy in the country.

By: FO2 Francisco Ruiz Montevirgen



As part of the program, a wreath laying ceremony spearheaded by no less than the Honorable Mayor of Manila Alfredo S. Lim and MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino was made to honor the “heroic couple”, Ninoy and Cory in front of their shrine in Intramuros, Manila. Former Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino, Ninoy’s brother and founder of the August Twenty One Movement (ATOM) served as the guest speaker. Senator Butz said that up now, the change and freedom that Ninoy fights for is still elusive for the Filipino people. “Ilang Aquino pa ba ang kailangan ng bansa? Naging pangulo na si Cory… pagkatapos ay si Noynoy. Ilan pa ang kailangan? The Filipinos should do their part if they want to achieve the freedom that they hope for, he added. At the end of the program, hundreds of white doves, yellow balloons and confetti was released to symbolize and commemorate the Ninoy’s heroism which led to the eventual downfall of the much dreaded Marcos Regime.



PASIG CITY FIRE STATION CONTINUING A BETTER START Pasig City- Men in uniform of the BFP-Pasig City are now ready to continue what they have started very well in the last 2 years of excellence in terms of collections of fees and public services. In this year 2012, marks the challenges awaiting each and one of them particularly in

the delegations of one-stop shop of business applications in the Pasig City Hall, upcoming Fire Prevention Consciousness Month and fire related issues that may arise whether it is inevitable or regular cases.

“Last year 2011 can be considered well since we were able to set a new record in the collection of fire code fees and participated several government and non-government organizations activities that made us renowned agency here in pasig.”, CINSP ROY D QUISTO, said. The OIC also noted that this year will be more fruitful to him since this is a new start for all of them serving the city. 2010 total collections were P33,915,539.87 while last year’s (2011) were P39,701,829.65. A 17.06% increase in comparison of the 2 succeeding years and hoping that this 2012 will be more fruitful and productive as what the OIC is foreseeing.


“TOROTOT” INSP MICHELLE S BORLAGDAN December is the month wherein we are celebrating Christmas that commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth to a young maiden from Galilee and the celebration of New Year. It is known that during this season more cases of fire arise. Mandaluyong City Fire Station made its own way to control and lessen the occurrence of fire incident at the said city. Fire trucks roamed around the city to conduct “OPLAN PAALALA” by giving tips and ideas on what to do in case of fire and what should be done in order avoid danger and harm to achieve a fire free New Year celebration. Barangay Addition Hills, one of the barangay in the City of Mandaluyong which is known to be a fire prone area. C/INSP NAHUM B TARROZA, City Fire Marshal of Mandaluyong City, together with the personnel of this station gave “torotot” to one thousand (1,000) children of the said barangay. C/INSP TARROZA delivered his message and precautions on how to prevent fire in preparation for the coming New Year as well as the significance of using “torotot”. The main objective of this activity is to patronize the use of “torotot” instead of using fire crackers and other pyrotechnic devices in celebrating and welcoming New Year. The said station even used Spongebob Squarepants as mascot to attract children and encourage them to participate with the said activity. Through this, we could decrease fire incidents and injuries caused by fireworks. This practice will not only benefit children but all of us in the community. According to American proverbs, “It is better to be safe than sorry.” Let us not wait for this time to come; regret has nothing to do with it, for we can never bring back the life and properties that are already gone.

Ngayong nalalapit na ang kapaskuhan, karamihan sa ating mga Pilipino ay nakaugalian nang maglagay ng mga palamuti sa kani-kaniyang tahanan. Isa sa mga nagpapaganda at nagpapasaya sa pagsalabong ng kapaskuhan ay ang paglalagay ng mga maniningning na ilaw o Christmas lights.

lights na kanilang binibili.

Dahil sa mga ganitong okasyon, noong Nobyembre 25,2011 ang Kawanihan ng Pamatay Sunog sa Pambansang Punong Rehiyon (BFP-NCR) na pinamumunuan ni CSUPT SANTIAGO E LAGUNA kasama ang namumuno sa Lungsod ng San Juan na si CINSP GILBERT D DOLOT ay nagsagawa nang masusing pagsusuri sa mga tindahan na nagbebenta ng mga christmas lights sa isa sa pangunahing pamilihan sa nasabing lungsod, ang Greenhills Shopping Center. Kasabay ng pagsusuring ito, nagpamigay din ang mga tauhan ng BFP San Juan ng mga booklet na naglalaman ng mga paalala hingil sa mga dapat tandaan ng ating mga kababayan upang makaiwas sa sakuna tulad ng sunog.

May tatlong paraan upang malaman kung tama ang binibili nating christmas lights ayon sa Department of Trade and Industry. Ang una ay tingnan ang wire. Dapat ang sukat, ng kapal nito ay 1.5 mm. Ang pangalawa ay tingnan ang pambalot nito. Dapat tingnan kung nakalagay ang pangalan at address ng importer/distributor, brand name, rated voltage at wattage ng set, rated voltage at wattage ng lamps, ang mga katagang “For indoor use only”, ang batch/ lot number ng bar code, standard use (PNS 189:2000), at country of origin sa package. At ang pangatlo ay ang ICC Mark Sticker na may numero. Sa mga pamantayang ito , masisiguro na ligtas ang mga binibili nating christmas lights.

Para sa kaalaman ng nakakarami, ang hindi tamang produkto ng Christmas lights ay isa sa mga pangunahing sanhi ng sunog sa ganitong panahon. Dahil sa hindi pagsunod ng ilang nagtitinda sa mga pamantayan ng tamang produkto ng christmas lights at dahil na rin sa pagtitipid, ang ating mga kababayan ay napipilitan na bumili na lamang ng mga sub-standard na christmas lights. Layunin ng pagsususring ito ang masiguro ang kaligtasan ng mga mamimili na ligtas at angkop gamitin ang mga christmas

Ayon kay CSUPT SANTIAGO E LAGUNA, “dapat tignan ng mga mamili ang mga binibili nilang produkto. Tingnan at suriing mabuti kung meron itong tatak ng ICC. Ang tatak na ito ang nagsasabi na ang Christmas lights ay nakapasa sa pagsusuri ng DTI.”

Sa mga espesyal na okasyon tulad ng kapaskuhan o kahit ano pa mang okasyon, simple man o ordinaryong panahon, asahan na palagi nating katuwang ang Kawanihan ng Pamatay Sunog sa Lungsod ng San Juan. Maligayang Pasko po sa ating lahat! Mula sa inyong lingkod BFP San Juan. (insp dianne roselle s gaynilo c,pis bfp san juan)



Republic of the Philippines

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT BUREAU OF FIRE PROTECTION National Capital Region QUEZON CITY FIRE DISTRICT Public Information Service/ Fire Education Section City Hall Compound, Diliman, Quezon City Tel 924-1922; 924-1857

New Year’s Eve celebration is the oldest of all holidays. It was an ancient Babylonian event four (4000) thousand years ago. Emphasized on romance and indulgence in looking back on the past and forward to the future, this was an ancient symbol for resolution. But today, resolutions are meant to change from the past and to stick with a strong personal commitment for perfection. For Filipinos, the “Bisperas ng Bagong Taon” is a festive occasion believing to gain good future and prosperity. On the other hand, it’s not complete if no fireworks that glitter and sparkle in different shapes, styles and sizes at the sky. Some people beat their pots and pans to scare away bad spirits. Vehicle horns are tooted, empty cans are dragged along the streets, whistles are blown as clocks strike at midnight, and the doors are left wide open to allow good luck to come in. To complement the risks in celebrating the New Year’s Eve, a prime duty as a public safety enforcement office, the Quezon City Fire District had implemented the “OPLAN PAALALA” which covers a complete preparation focused on safety awareness and precautions of the residing public while celebrating New Year’s Eve. Major activities of the OPLAN made by the Quezon City Fire District were Barangay Ugnayans especially at Sitio Masagana of Brgy Bahay Toro for

fire safety awareness, distribution of flyers & posters around the vulnerable areas of Q.C. with fire trucks using public address system in promoting fire safety tips to the constituents as a reminder from destructive fire may happen; conducted Fire Safety inspection on different stalls selling fireworks at highly populated areas; a motorcade went around Q.C. participated by QCFD fire trucks and Volunteer Fire Brigades by sounding the sirens and blinkers to catch the attention of the constituents reminding them of fire safety. And the highlight of the OPLAN PAALALA, a formal program that started after the motorcade. The main guests of honor were Honorable Undersectary Rico E Puno, Undersecretary for Peace and Order, DILG and Honorable Mayor Herbert M Bautista of Quezon City. Usec Puno delivered his speech which is focused on the importance of Fire Bureau in terms of carrying out public safety. He also announced the development on the funds for new fire trucks and a new hospital. Mayor Bautista stressed on the personnel demand of the Fire Bureau for the effective delivery of public service for a safer city. The program was concluded by distribution of certificates to all volunteers fire brigade who joined the motorcade.



At about ten past eight in the morning of the 26th of October, 2011, the fire alarm at St. Mary’s Academy in Pasay City went off. The chilling sound only had to mean one thing... Everyone needed to act fast. The school’s designated firefighting personnel were quick to respond to the so-called fire scene. Involved was a laboratory room located at the upper-most floor of one of the buildings wherein the alleged fire was initially discovered. Immediately, students were led to nearby exit routes by their respective teachers in an orderly attempt to evacuate to safer grounds, as the deafening sound of the fire alarm echoed throughout the campus. The public address system reminded everyone to remain calm as each individual descended cautiously. Three minutes later, the buildings of the Academy were deserted. Everyone who had gathered at the school quadrangle did so according to their respective sections. The teachers and the students who were assigned to do an accounting of their respective classes were busy tallying their rosters. Finally, the declaration that the fire was out was given by the school Fire Marshal.

Still, it wasn’t over yet. Uncertainty lingered as everyone was asked to stay patiently where they were. The sun was gradually crawling its way to the ends of the quadrangle, slowly making its presence felt. Anyone exposed to daylight found it hard to remain composed while further development of things unfolded. The noise escalated as the students chattered away obliviously under the sun. It was apparent that everyone was growing impatient. At last, the school head finally announced: “Alright everyone, you may all go back to your respective rooms!” Cheers of gratitude and relief filled the quadrangle. The students hurried back to their rooms even quicker than how they evacuated them moments earlier. Everyone was just glad that the FIRE DRILL was over. --From the Public Information Unit of Pasay Fire Station and the Office of the City Fire Marshal of Pasay, congratulations St. Mary’s Academy for successfully conducting your Fire Evacuation Drill!

A Test of St. Mary’s Academy’s Preparedness INSP. ERVIC S. GAVIERES, BFP C, PIU



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