City holds citywide disaster drill

SIRENS were heard twice in the city yesterday. First for an intensity 7.2 earthquake, and a few minutes later for a tsunami.

 But those alarming of the sirens were part of the drill spearheaded by the City Disaster Risk Response and Management Office (CDRRMO).

 The entire local government, comprising mostly of  skeleton crew from each department, was transported yesterday to the incident command center at the Crocodile Park in Barangay Ma-a, along with departments heads from City Hall, as well as representatives from the City Council.

 The scenario included an earthquake induced by trench movement, with the local government, national government agencies, barangays, and private establishments assuming the duck, cover, and hold stance.

 Residents in the coastal barangays were led to pre-identified evacuation sites.

 Around 20 minutes after the initial incident, the CDRRMO as well as various government agency responder teams, including the Bureau of Fire and other volunteer emergency brigades, rushed to the Crocodile Park grounds, the designated staging area.

 Even the Philippine Air Force was involved in the transport of high-risk casualties.

 The Philippine National Police (PNP) volunteered 100 of its personnel to be the casualties of every kind, ranging from broken bones to heavier injuries.

 CDRRMO chief Emmanuel Jaldon, in an interview with reporters, said that the goal of each government is to establish an incident command center within 72 hours.

 The idea for the scenario was for the vital government installations to continue functioning, even if it means moving the necessary personnel and equipment from offices such as City Hall to the staging ground, which was kilometers away from the downtown area.

 Within the hour, the reserve equipment of Central 911 as well as the participating agencies rushed to the Crocodile Park and assumed their role as responders.

 A drone flew above and provided an aerial perspective of the scenario. The footage from the aerial drone was immediately interstitched with existing Google Map images to provide a real time aerial assessment of the staging grond.

“Bloodied” casualties were taken to a triage area.

As an added bonus, at least six hospitals here were “surprised” by the CDRRMO with the 100 casualties to simulate a mass casualty incident in the emergency rooms.

The casualties were taken to the Southern Philippines Medical Center, San Pedro Hospital, Community Health and Development Cooperative Hospital, Davao Doctors Hospital, Metro Davao Medical and Research Center, and the Adventist Hospital.

Jaldon said more of these drills will be conducted in the future.

“We need to repeat this as often as possible until we get the desired results,” Jaldon said.

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