Sunday, March 11, 2012

SBMA rescue team hailed for helping flood victims

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – The Emergency Rescue Team (ERT) of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) again received a well-deserved recognition, this time from the town of Calumpit in Bulacan province for their participation in rescue operations at the height of the flooding caused by Typhoon “Pedring” last October.

Calumpit Mayor James de Jesus cited the SBMA team in a simple ceremony held on November 4 at La Residencia in Calumpit, thanking members of the team who rescued and helped his constituents during the flood.

De Jesus gave a letter of commendation to the SBMA rescuers “for their unselfish time, energy and spirit in the pursuit of the noble vocation of saving lives.”

The letter also thanked the crew for their “invaluable assistance and support to the Local Government Unit of Calumpit in flexibly addressing the evolving physical needs and welfare of those in the evacuation centers, as well as those left in the far-flung barangays as the flood threateningly raged on and receded.”

“But the most touching of all the gifts they gave us were the coffee mugs that said they will never forget,” said SBMA fire chief Ranny Magno who also commands the SBMA's ERT.

“We have won so many awards from fire-fighting and emergency rescue competitions, but nothing is more rewarding than being thanked by the people you have helped,” Magno added.

A total of 19 fire fighters from the SBMA came to help out in Calumpit as floodwaters reached the rooftops in some areas of Bulacan due to heavy rains early last month. Most members of the SBMA team stayed there for almost a week.

Magno said helping in times of emergencies is all part of their duty, adding that they are more than willing to sacrifice their time and risk life and limb to make sure that everybody is safe.

Aside from those posted in Calumpit, three other SBMA teams were deployed to Olongapo City, Subic in Zambales, and the Roman Highway in Bataan to clear roads and public places of fallen trees and collapsed structures.

Because of its response to emergency situations, the SBMA Emergency Rescue Team has received several awards for extraordinary courage, heroism, self-sacrifice, and bravery against all odds in times of emergencies and disasters. Among these are the 2009 Gawad Kalasag Special Citation for best support organization in the national level; and the 2010 Kalasag Award for being the best disaster manager in the country.