Davao gets new fire chief

SIX MONTHS after the deadly NCCC Mall fire, the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) has assigned a new regional director.

Yesterday, Sr. Supt. Fred Trajeras replaced Sr. Supt. Rico Neil Kwan Tiu in a turnover ceremony held at the regional office at the corner of Leon Garcia and Monteverde streets.

Kwan Tiu was reassigned as regional director of the BFP in Eastern Visayas (Region 8).

Trajeras, the regional director in Caraga (Region 13) before his Davao transfer, has vowed to prioritize the repairs of dilapidated fire stations and fire equipment such as fire trucks.

He also vowed to pursue the recruitment of additional personnel in the region. At least 100 new BFP personnel are expected to take oath on Oct. 1.

Trajeras, in an interview, said that he wants “unity and harmony” in his command.

“Once we are united, we can achieve and proceed with our undertakings,” Trajeras told reporters at the sidelines of the turnover ceremony.

The director said he will immediately conduct a command conference with his city and provincial fire marshals as he wants to know their plights and priorities.

Boosting the morale of his personnel, Trajeras said those personnel with long overdue promotion should be given what is due to them. He said they will likely be promoted by the third quarter of the year.

Trajeras said he will also enhance its Special Rescue Unit (SRU). The SRU is composed of firefighters who have undergone specialized training to enable them to conduct rescue operations to any catastrophes or emergencies instead of only fire response.

He also revealed that Davao region is a recipient of P100 million-worth Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) equipment donated by the American government.

To give better service to the public, Trajeras said he will impose a “No lunch break” policy in all the BFP units in the region so personnel can still entertain clients at noon.

“We will accommodate the clients. That is our duty,” he said, echoing the Civil Service Commission (CSC) campaign of Mamayan Muna Hindi Mamaya Na.

He said personnel should also wear the proper uniform all the time.

Vowing to immediately act on complaints by the public against BFP personnel, the director also said he will intensify the campaign against corruption.

“I am happy that I am warmly welcomed in Region XI,” he said. “Rest assured that the services will be delivered thoroughly.”

In his farewell message, Kwan Tiu thanked local officials, particularly Mayor Sara Duterte, and officials of other law enforcement units for supporting him during his stint as the regional director.

Kwan Tiu narrated the accomplishments of his bureau during his 11-month stint.

He cited the command operation center that was created early this year. The Davao center is the “model for the modernization” of the BFP offices in the country.

Also, around 1,200 children joined in the first ever Kiddie Junior fire marshal summer camp held in Bangkal. The activity aimed to educate children in the fire safety.

Kwan Tiu said they also conducted the activities in local malls to promote to the public the general fire safety awareness.

One of his accomplishments, he said, was the improvement of some facilities in the region and providing a retirees lounge.

Kwan Tiu’s term as regional fire director was bugged by the deadly NCCC Mall fire, the biggest fire to hit the region, that killed 38 workers, mostly call-center agents.

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