WATCH: Filipino firefighters teach young kids how to be safe
MANILA, Philippines – Who says kids can’t be heroes?
Highlighting the role and the capacity of the youth in public safety, the Bureau of Fire Protection-National Capital Region (BFP-NCR) conducted its first ever Kiddie and Junior Fire Marshal Summer Camp at the Liwasang Kalakasan area of the CCP Complex on Friday and Saturday, May 19 to 20.
The two-day summer camp teaches kids from 8 to 17 years old about fire safety, first aid, and firefighting techniques in a fun way. It is one of the activities of the BFP-NCR to help members of the community, especially the youth, take an active role in fire prevention.
“We have to promote safety not only [in] buildings, not only to adults but also to children. So since this is the start of the summer, we conceptualized something that can make their summer more productive,” said Ssupt. Wilberto Rico Neil Kwan Tiu, Regional Director of BFP-NCR.
Seeing the capacity of children to learn, Kwan Tiu said that the summer camp can help families prepare for emergencies on their own.
"It's so that they wouldn't always blame government agencies whenever something happens to a family member. This way, people from the basic unit of the society – the family – can internalize how important safety is, not only during fires, but also road safety, earthquake safety," he added.
With more than 150 children in attendance, the summer camp featured 8 stations focused on fire safety and emergency response.
These stations held several activities such as the Helmet and Fire Coat Relay; the House Full of Hazard, where participants complete an obstacle race that simulates the hazards posed during an earthquake; and Look for the Signs, a lecture that details the meanings of various safety signs.
Aside from those activities, there were also practical tutorials on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the Association of the Philippine Volunteer Fire Brigades, Inc, and first aid and bandaging lessons from TXTFIRE Philippines.
According to Nestor Quinsay Jr, Assistant Secretary at the Department of the Interior and Local Government, they are looking into the possibility of expanding the summer camp nationwide in the future.
"Maybe we can expand this regionally or nationwide. Actually, Manila isn't the only place we've done this. We plan it every year, that there will be a seminar activity like this to teach kids on how to help others and to also learn the techniques on fire safety," Quinsay said. – Rappler.com
Samantha Bagayas is a Rappler intern. She is currently the News Editor at The Crusader Publication, the school publication at the Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan