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Cebu News

LGBTQ+ trained as emergency responders

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) has conducted an emergency response training to City Hall workers who are members of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) community.

The group which was called Alliance of Loving and Inclusive Visionaries for Equality (ALIVE) has undergone a three-day disaster preparedness program where they learned Basic Life Support and Standard First-Aid skills.

According to Ramil Ayuman, CCDRRMO chief, the first goal of this initiative is to boost the public's trust towards LGBTQ+ responders as some people doubt their capability.

"Kasagaran nga perception, way salig ba. We convince them nga through ani nga seminar maka duty mo, makatabang mo as responder. I think mo level-up ang pagsalig sa mga kauban ninyo sa trabaho, and the public itself," said Ayuman.

After the three-day seminar, the team had undergone a written examination of which 11 out of 35 trainees have passed.

These 11 qualified trainees will set to undergo further training and assessment with the supervision of CCDRRMO medical director, Dr. Johnrey Sanchez.

Through the continuing education and training, they will be prepared for the On-the-Job Training (OJT) as legitimate responders of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Quick Response Team (QRT).

"We are closely coordinating with the barangays, og unsay ikatabang nato. Og makapasar sila, pwede kaayo sila magamit nato as force multipliers sa atong ambulance, and quick response sa any disaster," said Ayuman.

"Labi na karon, lipay mi ang supplemental budget naaprobahan na, unya naa tay ipang recall nga ambulance from the barangays, so we need more manpower," he continued.

CCDRRMO also has plans to tap the city government to count the ALIVE responders' duty hours as an extension with compensation from their original work at the city hall.

The ALIVE responders were determined to establish their role as responders, and wittily shared that maybe soon they could have their own rainbow-colored ambulance, which Ayuman immediately explained that there are standard colors to be followed when it comes to emergency vehicles.

Aside from the members of ALIVE, CCDRRMO has also successfully trained a total of 800 barangay-based responders, composed of 10 persons per barangay in Cebu City. — Dianah Rule D. Salinguhay and Sly Anthonette E. Baseo, CNU Comm Interns, GMR (FREEMAN)

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