ALABEL, Sarangani (August 2, 2010) – Sarangani Quick Response Team (QRT) was declared champion and 1st runner up at the 1st National Rescue and Disaster Response Competition in Albay last week.
The 18-man team won the building collapse event against three other competing teams and 1st runner up for the water rescue event.
“We have no actual training here in the building collapse rescue, but we did theoretical research and we made it,” team leader Jerry Jucaban said. “That’s one thing we learned from the competition.”
In 2004, Sarangani QRT was the only team of rescuers from Mindanao who volunteered for the retrieval of landslide victims in Ginsaugon, St. Bernard, in Leyte.
“Our rescuers learned a lot from the competition - mind, strength, and speed,” provincial action officer Hermelo Latoja said.
In the rough terrain event, none of the competing teams was declared winner because time lapsed and no team finished the race, though Sarangani team was leading.
Latoja said while on their way back to Sarangani, he received a disaster call from barangay Kihan due to a flash flood that occurred in the said barangay.
Disaster calls in the province are directed to Latoja through his mobile number 09209476056, or at the office of the provincial disaster coordinating council at 508 3024.
“The competition is to show to the world that the Philippines is always ready for disasters,” Latoja said.
“We would like to thank other organizations and municipal local government units for helping us in this competition.” Latoja said a volunteer member of the Sarangani QRT was the fastest swimmer among all players who joined the competition.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Virgilio Clark Tobias said Sarangani could have won the other two events if they had complete equipment.
“I will do my best at the Sanggunian to provide our team the necessary tools and equipment you need,” Tobias said.
“These things affect our decision making which is very important in all situations.” (Russtum G. Pelima/SARANGANI INFORMATIN OFFICE)