Saturday, March 03, 2012

Russia to donate equipment for rescue operations

MANILA, Philippines - Russia is donating equipment for rescue operations to help enhance the country’s disaster response capabilities, the government said yesterday.

Benito Ramos, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director, said the Russian government has invited him to Moscow to discuss the matter.

“The meeting has been scheduled in September,” he said. “The meeting seeks to strengthen our cooperation in terms of disaster response.”

Speaking after an earthquake drill at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Ramos said they have not discussed what equipment the Russian government would provide.

“People from the embassy of Russia are here (in Camp Aguinaldo) to determine the things we lack and they promised to donate (equipment),” he said in Filipino.

Representatives from the Russian embassy were present during yesterday’s earthquake drill.

Ramos said among the possible items to be provided are equipment used to rescue people trapped in collapsed structures.

“The meeting with Russian officials will also allow us to share our experiences with them,” he said.

“There will be sharing of information about disaster mitigation and response.”

About 1,000 soldiers joined the earthquake drill at Camp Aguinaldo yesterday.

The drill was based on the assumption that a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Metro Manila and caused widespread damage in the military headquarters.

The activity demonstrated the capabilities of Camp Aguinaldo Station Hospital, Camp Aguinaldo Fire Station, Air Force Fire and Air Response, and the National Development Support Command Collapsed Structure Search and Rescue Team.

Personnel from the NDRRMC, Armed Forces Command Center, National Capital Region Command and Bureau of Fire Protection also joined the drill.

These units conduct simulated search and rescue activities during the one-hour activity.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said he is satisfied with the actions demonstrated by the military and its civilian partners.

“Overall, I think everybody contributed. It (drill) became successful because everyone cooperated,” he said.

Adequate preparation, training and information exchange would help reduce casualties during disasters, Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa said.

The Philippine Star
March 02, 2012 12:00 AM

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