The PMO Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro, in partnership with the Bureau of Fire Protection, conducted a fire drill on 20 March 2019 at the PMO’s Building 1 in line with the celebration of the Fire Prevention Month. The drill was participated by 86 personnel and port users.

In line with this year’s theme, “Ligtas na Pilipinas Ating Kamtin, Bawat Pamilya ay Sanayin, Kalaaman sa Sunog ay Palawakin.”, the said activity was conducted to test the emergency response, and firefighting capabilities of the PMO. This time, the drill pegged on treating the fire as arson, thereby, also testing the immediacy of response of the Port Police to apprehend the supposed arsonist who was still around the vicinity.

Prior to the drill, representatives from the BFP and the PMO’s Safety Officer conducted inspection on the availability of fire extinguishers in every floor of the building, functionality of the fire alarm, and the passage towards the fire exit.

During the drill, the supposed arsonist set a fire at the 3rd floor of the building. Upon the wailing of the fire alarm, detecting an ongoing fire, all employees and clients who were guided by security guards immediately evacuated their respective offices and proceeded to the parking area. The Safety Officer used the fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

At the evacuation area, the head of the Marine Section conducted a headcount and discovered that (1) person is missing. The emergency response team quickly headed inside the building for search and rescue. The injured individual was brought to the PMO’s standby vehicle and was given first aid by the PMO’s designated medical team. He was then rushed to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Port Police carried out hot pursuit of the arsonist. The suspect was nabbed at the 3rd floor of the building.

The building was officially declared fire out after ten (10) minutes.

During the evaluation, BFP commended the readiness of the PMO: from the provision of functional alarm system, organized communication lines between and among point persons, up to the provision of standby vehicle. However, it was pointed out that although the response was very quick, handling of the injured victim by the response team needs to be improved. That the team may need to undergo a refresher training. They added that the standpipe for the water pump may be repaired to increase the water pressure, so that the PMO will have enough water to initially hose down a fire while the fire truck has not yet arrived. Said water pipe must be installed in a strategic location.

Lastly, the BFP informed that they are offering free emergency response 40-hour training which includes rescue, firefighting, CPR, bandaging, ropemanship, among others.—IMR Lam