hospitals in the Philippines

Firefighter-nurses deployed to Metro Manila hospitals after PGH fire

Dwight de Leon
Firefighter-nurses deployed to Metro Manila hospitals after PGH fire

SEND-OFF CEREMONY. DILG Uundersecretary Jonathan Malaya joins the send-off for 63 Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) firefighter-nurses who will be deployed to 12 hospitals in Metro Manila, on May 18, 2021.

Rappler

'Hindi lamang po sila iyong nagreresponde before sa mapinsalang sunog, but they have special training on paramedics,' says Bureau of Fire Protection chief Jose Segundo Embang Jr

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on Tuesday, May 18, sent 63 firefighter-nurses to a dozen COVID-19 facilities and referral hospitals in Metro Manila, days after fires hit the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila and the Pasig City General Hospital (PCGH).

In the BFP’s send-off ceremony for its nurses to COVID-19 referral facilities, BFP chief Jose Segundo Embang Jr. said the deployment aimed to hit two birds with one stone.

“The deployment is not only dedicated to responding and helping and augmenting hospitals that are in need of nurses, but they will also be deployed and can respond to other emergencies, like what happened in the PGH,” he said.

Hindi lamang po sila iyong nagreresponde before sa mapinsalang sunog, but they have special training on paramedics (They do not only respond to fires, but they also have special training on paramedics),” he added.

On May 12, a fire broke out at the storage facility of the PCGH, reaching the third alarm before it was declared under control. No casualties and major damage to equipment were reported.

On May 16, a five-hour fire also rocked the government-run PGH. There were also no casualties, but some patients had to be transferred to nearby hospitals.

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The fires prompted the BFP and local government units to place hospitals across the country under close monitoring.

The BFP’s deployment of nurses also came amid calls for the Philippine government to find more nurses to be able to maintain adequate care for COVID-19 patients in Metro Manila.

The Octa Research said in April that Metro Manila only has around 16,000 nurses, or about half of what was needed to staff nearly 10,000 beds intended for COVID-19 patients in a standard care setting. — Rappler.com

Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.