WHEN calamity strikes, people are advised to stay away from harm by holding out inside their homes or evacuating to higher and safer grounds.
This third quarter of the year in Pangasinan, adverse weather conditions since July dumped unprecedented volume of rains that inundated many parts of the province. Time and again, those living in danger zones and vulnerable areas were brought to evacuation centers and provided with food packs.
The recent Super Typhoon “Ompong” that lashed Pangasinan with ferocious winds, torrential rains and the imminent danger posed by the large volume of waters discharged from the San Roque Dam had again tested our will to survive.
While surviving every calamity gives us new lease on life, there are some men and women who are exposed to greater danger, even as they sacrifice the time to be with their own family during these crucial moments.
While some residents stay at home waiting for the flood to subside, there are people out there wading through murky floodwaters, braving strong currents to evacuate people to higher grounds.
While others are protected under the comforts of a stable shelter as they wait for the strong winds to stop, there are people out there still moving around in danger zones in pursuit of saving one more soul.
These men and women who are part of the Pangasinan Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office/Council are always on call when disaster strikes.
These are the PDRRMO Water and Rescue Teams, the volunteers from the Pangasinan Police, the Philippine Army, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Coast Guard, the maritime group, the C/MDRRMCs, who are all fired up with bravery, passion, commitment — and an unwavering service for others during calamities!
The support staff are also there to keep things in order and seamless like the PDRRMO staff who work 24/7, the PSWDO staff who accompanies relief operations, the Engineering Staff who drive rescue trucks, the PHO for providing medical team to treat the injured and the sick, the PIO team who join operations to document actual action, the Social Media group who updates the Facebook of the PDRRMO and the official page of the province, among others.
And behind all these heroic acts during disaster is the young, dynamic and pragmatic leader, Governor AMADO I. ESPINO III, who usually stays round the clock at the PDRRMO command center to ensure all efforts are integrated with his ultimate marching order to all teams: do everything you can to attain ZERO casualty.
/Orpheus M. Velasco (Photos by Enrique Cayago, Senielda Reyes, Richard Allen Masaoy, Charlyn Cristobal)
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