Cebu City fire responders need protocols
Mary Ruth R. Malinao (The Freeman) - October 18, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is set to create an advisory council to guide in responding to fire alarms in the city.

Ramil Ayuman, CDRRMO officer-in-charge, said this council will comprise of the Cebu City Fire Department, Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, Philippine Red Cross, and Association of Barangay Fire Brigades that will come up with protocols in responding to fire alarms.

Ayuman said the plan came out after the fire that broke out at White Knight Hotel Cebu along General Maxilom Avenue on Thursday morning following an explosion from the equipment room located in the basement.

“Daghang mga barangay fire brigades nakasud without breathing apparatus as per report from BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection),” said Ayuman.

Ayuman said Senior Fire Officer 2 Romeo Birao Jr. of the city’s fire department, in a message, informed that some responders might face the risk of heavy metal poisoning.

“As per investigation sa fire incident kadto basement fire sa Mango Park Hotel, ang nasunog involved lithium and lead-acid battery cells. Matud sa atong investigator, atong responders may have been exposed to heavy metal poisoning. Some of the symptoms daw are nausea, vomiting, headache, pain inig ginhawa, kalibanga, and brown ihi,” read the message relayed by Ayuman to the media.

“Guys, if anyone sa atong mga responders are experiencing these symptoms please manage accordingly. Hoping wala ray naay lain gipamati natong mga kauban after the incident,” it further read.

According to Birao, the city’s fire fighters were well-protected when they responded to the fire alarm as they had complete protective equipment however; the fire volunteers lacked the said equipment.

As of Saturday, he said that he has not heard of any fire volunteers reporting symptoms of the poisoning caused by the fire incident.

But he is asking them to immediately seek medical assistance if they feel unwell.

The CDRRMO has reminded the responding crew and barangay fire brigades to be extra cautious in responding to fires. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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