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Fighting fire with fire?

Republika

President Rodrigo Duterte last week signed into law the Bureau of Fire Protection Modernization Act, which authorizes firemen to carry guns.
According to Duterte, firemen should be armed given the dangerous nature of their jobs.


“The problem is whenever there’s fire, everyone wants to be prioritized, especially if it’s a conflagration that is really a big one, they want their areas to be responded first; if not, they will threaten the firefighters who are helpless,” he said.


Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, an ally of Duterte and sponsor of the bill, said that 2,282 firefighters would be allowed to carry guns to enable them to protect their colleagues in the performance of their duties.


Under the measure, the BFP will get upgraded equipment, vehicles and protective gear as well as regular skills capability enhancement training for both personnel and officers. Volunteers and fire safety practitioners will be included in this training, which will cover fire prevention and suppression, fire inspection and clearance, investigation, disaster preparedness, rescue and emergency medical response, among others.


The measure will also provide an institutional basis for the fire bureau’s duty to respond to disasters, whether natural or manmade.

Photo: Daily Tribune


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