SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Employees of 15 locator companies in this free port tried their hand in connecting fire hoses, climbing ladders, and directing high-pressure water to put out fire, as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) fired off the Subic Bay “Fire Olympics” last Friday to promote safety awareness and preparedness among companies and their workers in the Subic Bay Freeport.
The SBMA Fire Department, in cooperation with locators and investors, launched the Olympics at the Subic Bay Gateway Park here in line with the observance of Fire Prevention Month.
The 15 participating companies joined the “games” prepared by SBMA firefighters as training modules, each sending five-man teams and technical crews to tackle the various challenges.
SBMA Deputy Fire Chief Raul Zapanta said that companies join this annual activity “because it is not only fun to the participants, but also hones their skills in firefighting and enhances rapport among the designated fire marshals from different companies.”
“It helps the volunteers build teamwork and cooperation with other fire volunteers, and also provides and an opportunity to put their skills to test,” he added.
Zapanta and fellow deputy fire chief Gerard Johnson, along with 20 crew members from the SBMA Fire Department, coordinated the event that included lectures on safety in the work place.
The one-day activity closed with a simple program where winners in the “fire games” received certificates of recognition and tokens of merit.
Aside from the Fire Olympics, the SBMA Fire Department is also conducting lectures in communities adjacent to the Freeport, teaching residents how to prevent grass and forest fires, and what to do in case fires break out.
“While we want to keep our homes and companies safe against fire, here in Subic it is also our priority to prevent forest fires,” said Johnson, pointing out that the forests here are home to many animals and birds, and an important asset for the local tourism industry.
“This is why it’s really important to train workers and residents in fire safety, and the Fire Olympics is one effective way of doing it,” Johnson said.