Monday, August 13, 2012

Soldiers are first responders during calamities in Davao Region

CAMP MANUEL YAN, Mawab, Compostela Valley -- A top military officer has designated one platoon of soldiers for every battalion as the first responders during calamities in Davao Region and in the provinces of Sarangani and South Cotabato.

Brig. General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the 10th Infantry Division, disclosed the move is aimed to immediately address emergency situations brought about by abnormal weather conditions due to climate change.

He affirmed that risk reduction and management is one of the missions of the military in its peace and development effort characterized by linking up with all stakeholders in local government units and the private sector.

“We are training our soldiers to be first responders. And part of the first responder training is the establishment of the incident command system where all information about the disaster at hand is put in place before turning it over to the local government unit in a given area,” Bernardo said.

He said the information covers the type and extent of the calamity, initial appreciation of the number of victims, search and rescue and relief operations.

Bernardo said as first responders, the military will immediately assume as incident commander to ensure that the needs of affected communities are attended to immediately.

“Based on the hazard map provided for by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, we designate one platoon for every battalion in a given area to dispatch immediately when calamities either natural or man-made occur,” he said.

Bernardo said Davao Region is prone to landslides and they are also identifying the fault lines in their respective areas to prepare themselves whenever earthquakes occur.

Bernardo said all priorities on disaster response are coordinated with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD). 

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