TACLOBAN CITY – In a proactive effort to boost public awareness and preparedness in the event of calamities and disasters, the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) in partnership with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) RO 8 recently conducted Earthquake and Fire Drills on March 9, 2023. The exercises aimed to equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge on how to respond swiftly and confidently during emergencies.

In her message, NMP Agency-Officer-In-Charge, Ms. Elena M. Santos extends her gratitude to the BFP for their support and assistance during the said undertaking.

“We truly appreciate the valuable insights that our BFP officials will be providing us today. We understand the importance of being prepared for any disasters, thus, we have taken the initiative to conduct regular earthquake drill in addition to our annual fire drill. By doing so, we can instill confidence and readiness in our personnel to act efficiently during an actual emergency and potentially save lives,” she mentioned.

The drill commenced when the first alarm sounded, indicating that an earthquake had occurred. All personnel were instructed to perform the “DUCK, COVER, and HOLD ON” technique, which is a crucial life-saving method during an earthquake.

As the second alarm blared, it signaled all individuals within the vicinity to immediately evacuate the building and proceed directly to their designated mustering stations. These stations were pre-determined and identified as safe zones where a trained marshall would conduct a headcount to ensure that everyone was accounted for.

The exercises also included a scenario where a casualty needed immediate medical attention. The prompt response of the search and rescue team, and the quick thinking and execution of CPR by the assigned First Aider, demonstrated the importance of having trained responders in emergency situations.

NMP employees were taught of the proper methods of containing a fire, whether by using a wet blanket or fire extinguishers. They were also advised to maintain a safe distance from the fire but not too far that the extinguisher would not reach the source or agent.  It was also emphasized that contacting fire officers should always be the first course of action in any fire emergency.

The activity was undertaken with the supervision of BFP RO 8 who conducted assessment of the performance of the entire process and at the same time provided recommendations for further improvement.

NMP recognizes the critical role of preparedness in ensuring the safety and welfare of its personnel during emergency situations. Hence, it is committed to conduct regular drills and training activities to enhance the readiness of its personnel for such scenarios.