Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Emergency preparedness training held for local residents

The Neighborhood Emergency Services Team (NEST) training, a set of lectures and drills on disaster management and emergency preparedness, was held for the tenth time by IRRI's Host Country and Community Relations Office (HCCRO)—this time, for 18 volunteers from barangays Bayog and Mayondon in Los Baños, Laguna.

The 5-day (22-26 April) training course aimed to impart preparedness and response before, during, and after a disaster. Specific topics were first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, bleeding management, shock management, fire safety, earthquake safety, light search and rescue, water safety, and counter-terrorism. Participants went through disaster simulation to test their acquired knowledge.

“Every barangay encounters different kinds of emergency situations. The question is: is everyone ready and well-informed when faced with such situations? Most likely not,” said Ardith Yangzon of the Emergency Research Center, Incorporated (ERCI). She is one of the NEST facilitators.

The NEST training was not only conducted for free; the barangays were also supplied with a complete first aid kit and spine board.

“The NEST training is very helpful, especially in a flood-prone area such as ours,” said Rommel Ilagan, barangay administrator of San Antonio, Bay, a NEST-trained barangay. Residents of San Antonio were able to apply their emergency preparedness skills when Typhoon Habagat passed over the province in 2012.

The HCCRO organized the activity with IRRI's Safety and Security Services, using funds from the United Parcel Service (UPS) and in cooperation with the ERCI, which provided NEST facilitators.

The next NEST training will be held on 27-31 May at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, Laguna.

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