Filipino firefighters should be provided with proper equipment and training as they play a significant role in saving lives during fires and other emergency situations, Senator Richard J. Gordon today said.
During the interpellation for Senate Bill (SB) 832, or the BFP (Bureau or Fire Protection) Modernization Act of 2020, Gordon pointed out that the country’s firefighting capabilities are currently insufficient.
“We are way below our capabilities in terms of fire protection. The ideal ratio is 1 fire truck to 14 fire fighters. In our country, we only have 10 fire fighters per fire tuck. Totaling, we have 23,030 fire fighters while the ideal is 50,490,” he pointed out.
Gordon stressed that there are only 2,848 fire trucks in the country, in which 40 percent are old models, and that more than 200 municipalities do not have their own fire stations.
He thus commended the Committees on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs; Finance; Ways and Means; and Local Government for working together in crafting SB 1832 that aims to strengthen and modernize the BFP.
“We cannot allow our fire fighters to go (out) there without proper equipment and training. According to BFP, in 2019, 50% of fire fighters do not have (a) complete set of PPEs. We have to arm our fire departments. Napakahirap makabangon kapag ikaw ay nasunugan. To save lives, to save properties, it is our duty to give our firemen the right equipment,” Gordon said. (It is difficult to stand up when you are burned.)
Among the provisions stated in the BFP Modernization Act of 2020 is the establishment and implementation of the BFP Modernization Program by the BFP in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) “geared towards the capability enhancement of its personnel and acquisition of state-of-the-art fire prevention, fire suppression, fire investigation, emergency medical and rescue services apparatus.”