The School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), in cooperation with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) - Los Baños, held its very first fire drill last July 1, 2015 at the SESAM lecture hall. All SESAM faculty and staff attended this event, as well as the UPLB University Police Force (UPF) and Community Support Brigade (CSB). SESAM is the first unit of the university to conduct such a drill, amidst the call for a better preparation for an earthquake that may happen due to a possible movement of the West Valley Fault System.
Dr. Decibel Eslava, dean of SESAM, and a geologist by profession, emphasized the importance of being prepared in times of disasters. Before the fire drill began, officers from the BFP first gave lectures on fire safety and first aid.
"Para mapatay ang apoy, dapat alam muna ang pinagmulan," (before trying to put out a fire, you must know its source first) FO2 Zion William Maningas noted during his lecture on fire safety. He discussed the chemistry and anatomy of fire, its causes, and how fast it can spread. FO2 Maningas also tackled the different types of fire, how to extinguish them, and what to do when trapped in a burning building.
FO2 Jefferson Samson, on the other hand, gave a lecture on first aid, which focused on the different ways to respond to an injured person. He demonstrated the various ways to bandage an injured body part, how to perform the Heimlich maneuver and CPR, and how to transfer an injured person to a safe place.
After the lecture, the fire drill began. The faculty were instructed to go back to their offices while the UPF and CSB participants stayed outside the SESAM building. At the sound of the alarm, everyone went out of their offices and gathered at their muster point. The BFP-Los Baños representatives assessed the reaction time and behavior of the SESAM faculty, UPF, and CSB during the fire drill. Afterwards, there was a demonstration on properly operating a fire extinguisher.
"Time is of the essence 'pag dating sa sunog," (in an event of fire), Municipal Fire Marshall Annalee Atienza reminded the participants during her closing remarks. The fire drill ended with the giving of certificates and tokens to the resource persons.