11 May 2011

Bulacan rescuers top 8th First Aid Olympics in Subic Freeport

The rescue team of Calumpit, Bulacan emerged as the overall champion in the recently-concluded 8th Regional First Aid and Basic Life Support Olympics held at the SBMA Gym here, besting some of the best rescue workers in Central Luzon who vied to be named the number one rescue unit in the region.

A total of 16 teams joined the regional Olympics organized by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC-3) through the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the Philippine National Red Cross Region 3 (PNRC-3).

The activity sought to hone the skills of rescue and first aid teams in the region, and “provide opportunities for participants to develop leadership skills and a chance to see how they could improve their resources,” said OCD Region 3 director and RDRRMC-3 chairperson Neri Amparo.

Among the challenges participants faced in the Olympics were scenario-crisis management, scenario-accident management, rescuing trapped persons, and applying basic life support (BLS) and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

According to records provided by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Disaster Management Center (SBMA-DMC), which hosted the event, the Calumpit rescue team (RT) ended up as champion in the municipal level after outscoring the Sta. Maria (Bulacan) RT, which was named the first runner-up.

Meanwhile, Guagua (Pampanga) RT and Sta. Ignacia (Tarlac) RT trailed as second and third runners-up, respectively.

In the provincial level, the Nueva Ecija RT was declared champion, as it soared ahead of the respective rescue teams of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan who ended up in the first, second, and third runner-up positions.

The Malolos City rescue team, meanwhile, received the championship plaque for the city level, as newcomer Barangay Sta. Rita (Olongapo City) RT settled for the first runner-up spot. The San Jose Del Monte (Bulacan) RT and Palayan City RT landed as second and third runners-up, respectively.

Among the rescue teams in the non-government organization and private level, Trust International Paper Co. (TIPCO) of Pampanga, successfully defended its title, outpacing Star Force Security Group (Pampanga), and Rescue 117 (Bulacan), which were named first and second runners-up, respectively.

Hall of Famer Olongapo City RT did not join the Olympics and instead nominated Brgy. Sta Rita RT to represent the city.

Another Hall of Famer, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s Disaster Management Council, on the other hand, decided not to compete and focused, instead, on hosting the event.

According to Undersecretary Benito Ramos, who is OCD administrator and executive director of the NDRRMC, the First Aid Olympics is the only competition in the country where rescuers display their techniques, as well as learn from other teams how they could improve their life-saving skills.

“The first line of defense against calamity and disaster is the awareness and knowledge of our people on what to do when disaster strikes,” Ramos told the participants and spectators.

According to Ramos, the most common cause of death during flashfloods and landslides is lack of awareness and knowledge in BLS and CPR.

On the other hand, well-equipped, well-trained first aiders and volunteers have done well in saving lives and reducing the effects of injury and trauma through the effective implementation of first aid measures, Ramos added. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

PHOTO: Participants in the recent 8th Regional First Aid and Basic Life Support Olympics held at the SBMA Gym display their skills in rescue and first aid.