City firefighters get new gear

City BFP FO1 Jessmar Villano demonstrates how to operate the breathing apparatus.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Puerto Princesa City has received an additional 16 new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) from the agency’s modernization program.

Fire Officer 3 Ruel Tabang, chief of the Special Rescue Unit (SRU) of the Puerto Princesa City Fire Station told Palawan News Thursday that the new equipments were sent directly from the BFP regional office.

“Actually 60 units lahat ‘yan pero ang 60 ay para sa buong Palawan na, paghahati-hatian. Ang provincial office na namin ang bahalang maghati-hati. So far, ang ibinigay sa amin ay 16, tapos meron tayong dati na apat so bale 20 na po ang ganiyan natin. Hindi ko lang alam ‘yong presyo ng bawat isa, basta ang alam ko diyan more than P100,000 ang bawat isang unit [pero] depende pa ‘yan sa brand, [so] baka mga P120,000 nga ang pinaka-mura niyan,” Tabang said.

City BFP FO1 Jessmar Villano pulls an SCBA unit container from the storage area of the firetruck.

Each unit contains a facemask with mouthpiece, hose or inhalation connection, two tanks with compressed oxygen each with a 300 bar high pressure content or a capacity of at least 30 minutes of continuous usage, and the back plate, which is the carrying frame.

Tabang said that the respiratory protective device apparatus prevents a firefighter from enhaling toxic vapors or harmful gases during fire rescue operations.

The apparatus is also helpful in firefighting in an enclosed building, he added.

Tabang said the City Fire Station has 31 personnel.

“Malaking tulong ito… malaking pakinabang po sa atin kasi nga ‘yong mga building ng Puerto ay hindi na rin basta-basta, malalaki na. Tsaka marami tayong structure na kumbaga ‘yong mga industrial [structures] natin [o] mga planta [katulad ng diyan sa] Delta P,” he said.

Tabang also added the national government also promised to provide a refilling machine to sustain the continuous usage of the SCBA units.

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