by: Rodrigo S. Victoria

NAVAL, Biliran – The loud blowing of sirens of ambulances, firetrucks and police patrol cars and firemen, policemen, army reservists, health personnel running in different directions attending to rescue and administering initial treatment to injured individuals trapped within the Biliran Provincial Hospital (BPH) and those coming from the rural health unit of Naval, were the scenes in the simulation drill of a 6.1 magnitude earthquake held at the BPH on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.

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Sofronio Dacillo,Jr., Biliran provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer (PDRRMO) said that the earthquake drill conducted the other day was part of the simultaneous nationwide earthquake drill conducted in other parts of the country which is part of the government contingency measure if in case a major quake hits the country.

Dacillo added that the earthquake drill conducted was aimed at giving the concerned government agencies a picture of the things to do and prepare in case a major quake will hit the country.

For his part, Fire Inspector Primitivo B. Tomilluso, fire marshall of Naval who was the designated incident commander of the earthquake drill, the activity which lasted for one hour and 20 minutes, was an opportune time for his men in the fire department to use their skills and knowledge in the rescue of injured individuals trapped inside a collapsed two-storey building using rappel technique and ladder.

“Though there are still things to be improved in rescue procedure, at least they already have in mind a picture on the things to do during earthquake situations”, Tomilluso further said in a brief talk after the earthquake drill.

Dr. Joyce Pla-Caneja, chief of the BPH who actively participated in the drill together with the medical staff and employees of the hospital, said that at least the 6.1 magnitude earthquake simulation drill gave the BPH health personnel an idea on how to respond to injured individuals especially in administering quick initial health treatment.

“We cannot discount the possibility that the BPH will be swarmed with individuals who are injured if in case a major quake will hit the province since this is the only health facility in the province that can accomodate a bigger number of people and we should be ready for it”, Caneja further said.

The 6.1 simulation earthquake drill was participated in by the officers and men of the Biliran provincial fire department, Naval fire station, Naval police station, some faculty and students of Naval State University, members of the Army reservists in Biliran province, health personnel of the BPH and the Naval municipal health office and the employees of the Biliran provincial disaster risk reduction and management office (PDRRMO) and the Naval MDRRMO. # (fj/PIA 8 Biliran)

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