DAGUPAN CITY – The local government of Dagupan and its City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, in partnership with the Bureau of Fire Protection, DepEd Dagupan, Philippine Red Cross and Panda Fire Volunteer, conducted a five-day Kiddie and Junior Fire Marshal playhouse for elementary pupils from Grades 3 to 5 at the City Plaza on March 12-16.

The activity, the first ever in the entire region, was attended by at least 300 pupils from different schools in the city. The students were grouped into batches for the five-day activity.

Each group went through eight stages in the entire activity, starting with the pupils crawling into a makeshift tunnel maze which simulated building entrapment scenarios that would require one to crawl out of constricted areas with zero visibility.

The CDRRMO instructed the students on how to wear their Personal Protective Equipment properly. Their PPEs or bunker gear comes complete with the coat, pants, helmet and clear goggles.

The students crawled underneath a spider web obstacle course shortly thereafter, and were taught on how to properly tie basic search and rescue knots such as overhand and figure-eight knots.

After going through the tire obstacle run, the pupils were trained on how to perform the Basic Life Support first aid care by members of the Philippine Red Cross Emergency Response Unit. The students learned how to perform proper cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The children were then allowed to pass through another makeshift maze, this time simulating a burning house. The students relied on reading the fire safety posters and oral instructions in the maze to find their way out. This taught the children to know their exit routes and encourage their families to prepare family escape plans.

After the set of exercises, each student was taught how to properly handle and use a fire extinguisher. They were made to experience using the fire hose in one of the newly-acquired fire trucks of the city.

According to BFP Fire Chief Inspector Georgian Pascua, the activity aims to inculcate fire safety into the minds of the youth as well as increase their awareness, saying: “Gusto natin habang bata pa, makasanayan at maging habit na nila ito.”

He also stressed on the importance of holding such activities and urged  all sectors within the city to participate in other programs that would help secure their safety and decrease the chances of fire-related disasters and casualties.  “Masisigurado natin na ligtas ang Dagupan sa anumang sakuna.” added Pascua.

Other activities that the local government and the BFP have lined up for the celebration of the Fire Prevention Month include “Bombero sa Paaralan” wherein the Junior Firemen will be teaching what they have learned to their fellow youth as well as the upcoming Fire Safety Summit which will be held on March 27. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO/March 12, 2018)