“Where will you be?” and “Who will you be with?” are two strong lines from the trailer of the upcoming Hollywood earthquake disaster movie San Andreas starring Dwayne Johnson as a Los Angeles Fire Department rescue-helicopter pilot out to save the lives of his loved ones during a strong earthquake that hits San Francisco.
Just like the character of Johnson, the Private Sector Disaster Management Network – Rescue Recon Reliable Rapid Response (PSDMNR5) men and women risk their own lives to save other peoples lives in times of disaster in the Philippines. PSDMNR5 is a private rapid response team part of NDRRMC‘s whole-of-society approach to disaster response management. Typhoon Chedeng was the latest rapid response that PSDMNR5 prepared for as they pre-positioned in Baler, Aurora in anticipation of needed rescue and disaster recovery services should the typhoon wreak havoc and devastation.
Aurora Province Governor Atty. Gerardo A. Noveras, Baler Mayor Nelianto Bihasa, San Luis Mayor Annabelle C. Tiangson, Dilasag Mayor Victorio Briones, and Casiguran Mayor Dr. Ricardo Bitong expressed their thanks to thanks to the group as well as to the NDRRMC for demonstrating the commitment of the national government to provide support to local government units (LGUs) affected by typhoons and other disasters.
Typhoon Chedeng was a least smaller of impact compared to what is happening in the film San Andreas. But just like Johnson, everyone from the PSDMNR5 are going their way to help, save, and rescue peoples lives should disasters hit the country. PSDMNR5 Team is comprised of volunteers who are committed to be in places where they are needed.
Private Sector Disaster Management Network (PSDMN) Chairman Col. Alejandro ‘Alex’ T. Escano declared during a debriefing meeting held at NDRRMC Conference Room last April 7, that he will be looking for more resources to enhance the team’s disaster logistics by adding more ambulances as he envisions more Rapid Response Teams in the immediate future so that more areas can be assisted in case of more disaster take place.
Bear in mind that the Philippines is also prone to a big earthquake as predicted by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS). State seismologist Renato Solidum warned in 2014 that organizations and local officials must systematically use devise mechanisms to lessen damage and casualties should a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hits Metro Manila in the future. The impending ‘big one’ could happen anytime in our lifetime, as predicted. And PSDMNR5 will be ready to serve to save others may live should disasters happen.
Rapid Response Team was the idea of CDR Peter P. Negrido PCGA who was part of the search and rescue team of the ill-fated Cebu Pacific Flight 387 that crashed in Mt. Sumagaya in Cagayan de Oro in 1998. Negrido‘s first Rapid Rescue Team under the Rescue Recon banner was in response to Typhoon Yolanda where his team was deployed in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. After this, they also responded to Typhoon Ruby last December 2014 and went to Borongan City, Eastern Samar, this time under the banner of the combined PSDMN-Rescue Recon.
PSDMNR5 Team also worked closely with the local counterparts from the provincial and municipal DRRMOs, Bureau of Fire, Coast Guard, PNP, 7ID, DOH, DSWD, DPWH, and DOST-PAGASA.
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