Disaster is defined by the World Health Organization as “any occurrence that causes damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life, deterioration of health and health services, on a scale sufficient to warrant an extraordinary response from outside the affected community or area.” (http://www.icm.tn.gov.in/dengue/disaster.htm)
With the recurring experience of the country in general and of Metro Manila in particular on various types of disasters, it is necessary to be familiar with basic responses when it strikes. Likewise, The University and its constituents, like the rest of the people in the country, are never spared from calamities, which is almost always unpredictable that being ready and knowledgeable, among others, on basic skills on rescue operations can literally save another person or one’s own life. With the aim of familiarizing its faculty and staff on earthquake and landslide search and rescue operation as part of its staff development program on disaster preparedness, the UP Center for Women’s Studies (UPCWS) and the UP College of Social Work and Community Development (UP-CSWCD), together with the Metro Manila Development Authority through its Public Safety Division, jointly sponsored the two-day training workshop “Earthquake and Landslide Search and Rescue Orientation Course” (ELSAROC) held on May 18 and 19, 2011, at the CSWCD grounds.
The first day of the seminar workshop was focused on 4 modules related to disasters. The first, handled by Special Operations Officer Antonio Evasco, was “Introduction to Hazards and Disaster Management Concept.” The second and third were “Getting Started with Collapsed Structures Search and Rescue Operations” and “Fundamental Concepts and Techniques of Collapsed Search and Rescue Operations” respectively. Both modules were discussed by Mr. Aldo R. Mayor, MMDA Chief for Public Safety Division. The fourth was “Extricating and Caring of Victims on Collapsed Structures” and was talked about by Mr. Ryan E. Castañeda, Special Operations Officer and Coordinator of the Training Program of MMDA Public Safety Division. Meanwhile, the second day was solely devoted to practical exercises. The participants were divided into four groups and were exposed to four types of rescue operation exercises: “Familiarization of Tools and Equipment Used in Collapsed Structure Search and Rescue Operations” with Mr. Mark Ferdinand M. Lucas as facilitator/instructor; “Hailing Techniques” with Mr. Roberto P. Nicolas as facilitator/ instructor; “Lifting and Moving Techniques” with Mr. Antonio C. Evasco as facilitator/ instructor; and last but not least, “Victim Extrication and Stabilization” with Mr. Ryan E. Castañeda as facilitator/ instructor.
The training workshop was started with opening remarks by UP-CSWCD Dean Dr. Rosalinda Pineda-Ofreneo and a message by the UPCWS Director Dr. Sylvia Estrada-Claudio while Mr. Mayor gave an introduction to the course. The program was ended with closing remarks by UPCWS Deputy Director for Training and Outreach Program Dr. Ma. Theresa Ujano-Batangan. At the closing ceremony, the participants were awarded with the hard earned “Tagapagligtas” hard hat aside from the certificate.