BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Bureau of Fire Protection will activate a Special Rescue Unit (SRU) in Bacolod City after the training fire personnel in March or April, Chief Insp. Rodel Legaspi, Bacolod fire marshal, said during the blessing and inauguration of the BFP Central Fire Station in San Juan Street in the city recently.
Legaspi said about 13 personnel from Bacolod will be made to undergo the training and that they will also get a point-man from different cities in the province to guide them during rescue response activities outside Bacolod.
They will also hold a caravan during the Fire Prevention Month in March, as well as a webinar on fire prevention and safety involving the Department of Education, he said.
On March 12, the BFP will conduct an activity called “Harana sa SM” as part of the celebration and hopefully showcase its rescue tools and equipment. They also expect the arrival of a brand new rescue truck, Legaspi said.
Meanwhile, Senior Supt. Jerry Candido led the turnover of the keys to the newly renovated Bacolod BFP Central Station to Legaspi in the presence of Chief Insp. Kim Celisio, provincial fire marshal, during the inauguration.
The Barangay Taculing Auxiliary Group (BTAC), representing the barangay, was presented a recognition for being the only barangay that has procured its own fire truck.
Taculing Barangay Captain and Councilor Lady Gles Gonzales-Pallen said they acquired the fire truck last year.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the BFP is indispensable as Bacolod continues to progress and its population continue to grow.
Bacolod was one of the fastest growing cities before the pandemic. Its population has reached about 613,000 as of the last survey and grows by about 10,000 a year, he said.
Leonardia said, “The inauguration is significant and shows that we are going to cope with the growth of Bacolod.”
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya expressed his appreciation to the firefighters and rescue groups for their dedication to service.
Legaspi said the BFP Central Station has a total of 130 personnel and 13 fire trucks – some are assigned to its seven sub stations on the city located in Granada, Libertad, Lopez Jaena, Rodriguez, Sum-ag, Pahanocoy, and Mansilingan. Only the Pahanocoy substation has its own ambulance.
The renovation of its building costs about P15 million and materialized during the term of Candido as regional director. This is part of the modernization program of the BFP, he said.
Legaspi said he had served as deputy fire marshal of Bacolod from 2003 to 2004 under Candido, who served as fire marshal from 2000 to 2005. He said he was also assigned as fire marshal of the cities of Bago, San Carlos, La Carlota and Himamaylan before his assignment to Bacolod.*