THE country’s fire-fighting force has been beefed up by 682 new recruits who completed their training at the Philippine Public Safety College for immediate deployment this current fire prevention month of March.
PPSV President Ruben Platon said yesterday the new firefighters underwent the mandatory six-month training on fire basic recruit course conducted by the National Fire Training Institute (NFTI), one of the training schools under the PPSC.
An attached agency of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the PPSC is the premier educational institution for training, human resource development and continuing education for all personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
At the graduation ceremonies, keynoted by Platon together with NFTI director Fire Sr. Supt. Joseph Bacareza, the recruits were given their certificates of completion in simple ceremonies was held at NFTI compound in Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City.
“The completion of their training is indeed very timely as they will help in easing the fire bureau’s problem of inadequate trained firemen,” he said.
Earlier, BFP OIC-director Fire Chief Supt. Carlito Romero bared his bureau’s deficiency of trained fire personnel, saying it needs about 14,000 more firefighters to meet the growing demand for fire services especially at the local level.
Platon said the 682 fire personnel were recruited by the BFP late last year and appointed as Fire Officers I (FOI) after undergoing mandatory six months schooling on fire basic course at the NFTI under the auspices of the PPSC.
He said they were trained not only on the basic firefighting skills of saving lives and property during fire incidents, but also on basic water and land search and rescue techniques in times of disasters like earthquake, typhoon, storm surge, tsunami and other calamities.
“They were also taught on the concept and importance of medical first responder and exposed to exercises on enhanced jungle environmental survival technique including trouble shooting, defensive driving and values formation,” Platon added.
He also explained that modules on the basic fire course are in line with the instruction of DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to the fire bureau to expand the scope of its information and education campaign on fire prevention to include training exercises on disaster preparedness and response.
Platon urged the new firefighters to make use of their knowledge and skills to enhance public safety services in the country.