02 October 2011

SBMA rescuers assist in clearing operations after “Pedring”

“There is no time to rest while our stakeholders are in need of our assistance.”

This was the message imparted by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) fire chief Ranny Magno, as his team continued to help in clearing operations in communities badly affected by Typhoon Pedring, which pounded Luzon, including the Subic Bay Freeport area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Magno said the SBMA Emergency and Rescue Team (ERT) were mobilized as local officials from nearby communities requested for SBMA’s help in removing fallen trees that blocked the road, or leaned on houses and other structures.

Most of the problem consisted of fallen trees that damaged power lines, thus resulting to power outages in Olongapo City and other areas, Magno noted.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia, who was monitoring updates at the height of the typhoon, immediately instructed Magno and his men to respond to the requests for assistance.

Thereafter, SBMA ERT teams were deployed to Olongapo, Subic in Zambales, and the Roman Highway in Bataan. A team was also sent to Calumpit, Bulacan, early this morning to assist residents there who were still trapped on their rooftops.

“Each team was equipped with its own vehicle, and two chainsaws to speed up the work,” said Magno, while supervising the removal of a mango tree that fell on the roof of a house at Barangay Wawandue in Subic, Zambales last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, another SBMA team cleared fallen trees near the Marikit Bridge in Olongapo City, which cut the main power service line, resulting in the power outage in at least four barangays in the city.

Still another team cleared fallen trees that endangered motorists and slowed down traffic at the Roman Highway.

“Our operators barely had time to rest,” Magno said, pointing out that clearing operations were needed immediately to restore power in the affected areas at the soonest possible time.

The SBMA team that were mobilized formed part of the SBMA Emergency and Rescue Team that was a recipient of the 2009 Gawad Kalasag Award for its extraordinary courage, heroism, self-sacrifice, and bravery against all odds in times of emergencies and disasters. The citation was given for the SBMA ERT’s role in recovering and retrieving trapped miners at Itogon, Benguet in September 2008.

In January this year, Magno also received for the SBMA ERT the 2010 Kalasag Award for being the best disaster manager in the country. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

Members of the SBMA Emergency and Rescue Team help local government units in clearing operations in the aftermath of Typhoon Pedring.