Monday, December 11, 2017

Association of Volunteer Fire Chiefs and Firefighters of the Philippines Holds Anniversary and Induction Ceremonies

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With an initial membership of seven fire brigades back in 1987, the Filipino-Chinese civic organization called the Association of Volunteer Fire Chiefs and Firefighters of the Philippines, was engage in more than just firefighting operations. In fact, they respond to around 800 fires and emergencies a year. They are also involved in water distribution during times of shortages, and assisted during aftermaths of earthquakes such as that in Baguio and Cabanatuan, and metropolis cleaning operations such as the NAIA runway after the eruption of volcanoes such as Mt. Pinatubo, and conduct of medical and dental missions in various depressed areas in the metro. They have also participated in rescue operations including the transport of victims of the sea accident of MV San Nicolas to medical facilities.

In 1996, they were the first organization to be granted an emergency hotline (16016) thru the efforts of the incumbent mayor. They erected their own headquarters on a 1,000 sqm lot in Manila Harbour Center in Tondo. They also participated in the parade commemorating Philippine Independence at Luneta.

They are now celebrating their 31st year of continued service to the community. Their membership has grown to 28 volunteer fire brigades with a complement of more than 100 firetrucks, water tankers, and rescue units manned by 1,500 firefighters  and paramedics. Their headquarters are also manned by radio and telephone operato that monitor calls for assistance on a 24/7 basis.

To celebrate the occasion, the organization conducted an anniversary and induction to to proudly recognize and reward their outstanding members, and put into oath their new officers. The well-deserving heads and members of every brigade were given recognition of their valuable contribution of service risking their lives in the process.

The event was held on December 10, 2017 at Golden Bay Seafood Restaurant located along Macapagal Avenue near Mall of Asia complex in Pasay city, and were attended by all the officers and members ofvthe organization. Thus led their guest of honor, Dr. Rosalind Wee,t o joke by asking who was left to answer calls if a fire broke loose during their event. But we all know that they are just volunteers and the job is truly for the government firefighters.  Though many have found the organization to be quicker to respond than the previously mentioned, I guess they deserve a break once in a while.  It was a good thingbthat no fire was reported that Sunday, otherwise we may see some of these dedicated heroes suddenly leaving the venue for they may not be able to resist responding to the emergency.

Entertaining the attendees were Glaiza de Castro and Noel Cabangon who both gave three song numbers that day. 

The highlight of the day was the 1 Million peso donation of their guest of honor to the organization. That amount would surely go a long way in helping improve the firefighters skills and services. It is hoped that with the guidance of incoming President,  Ramon Chuaying, the organization will grow bigger and more capable in fighting fires. But we also hope that they also focus on finding ways to prevent fires so that property and lives will be saved from destruction. Thank you to outgoing President Domingo Chan Chun Bok for his service,  and may he continue to be a valuable consultant and supporter to the cause.

Being a volunteer, may it be as a firefighter, a paramedic or any other public service or advocacy is truly an honorable act. It is very rare that we take action without expecting something in return. Thus we should definitely give due attention to our valiant heroes for their selfless efforts in serving the community. As they say, we should not rely solely on our government in providing the basic services. We should always take the initiaein finding ways to help out each other especially during times of need. And though prevention is more likely the better path to take to reduce the harm, we should also be prepared and ready against unforeseen disasters like fire, wrath of nature, or accidents.

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