12 firefighters test positive for COVID
Decemay P. Padilla (The Freeman) - July 4, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — At least 12 firemen in Cebu City have tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Senior Fire Officer 2 Wendel Villanueva, public information officer of Cebu City Fire Station, said three of those who were infected have already recovered while the rest are being isolated at the Pahina Fire Sub-Station.

Villanueva also announced that three of the city’s nine fire sub-stations are on lockdown after some of its personnel were found positive for COVID-19. These are Mabolo, Pahina, and Pari-an.

Villanueva, however, assured the public that the city fire department’s firefighting capability is not affected. He said six fire sub-stations--Talamban, Lahug, San Nicolas, Guadalupe, Labangon, and Pardo-- are still operational, excluding the barangay fire brigades and other fire volunteer groups.

“Wala kaayo tay kabalak-an in terms of our firefighting operations kay we have a very strong support system from our barangays kay kani atong Barangay Fire Volunteer Brigades are very active also so they are our support group,”

Villanueva said.

He also clarified that no firefighter tested positive for COVID-19 are allowed to go out and respond to fire emergency even if they are asymptomatic.

“Usa pud may ning mahibawo ang publiko nga atong gi-manage ang sitwasyon og kada naay sunog nga among tubagon basin magtuo ba nga unsa man ning bombero mao man ning manakod hinoon, no kanang naay mga kaso mapositive sila ato gyud na sila gi-isolate, there’s never an instance nga pagawson nato sila aron parespondehon,” Villanueva said.

He said the Cebu City Fire Station has started the “Stay away from us, Stay away from you” advocacy to ensure that firefighters are protected from the dreaded virus when responding to fire alarm.

The fire department also has a decontamination team to disinfect all firefighters every after firefighting operations. All firemen were also provided with vitamins and protective equipment.

Firemen are among those considered as frontliners in the government’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.  FPL (FREEMAN)

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