The Bureau of Fire Protection Miagao has left a remarkable impression in the community, not only through their immediate response in the call of fire accidents especially this March having the most occurrences of fire cases, but also in their celebration of Fire Prevention Month and Community Relations Week.

Just last March 12, Tuesday, my school conducted community visits at the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police in Miagao. Prior to our schedule of visits, we secured the necessary permits from the local government units especially from these service institutions.

The BFP responded quickly with a positive heart and informed us that they will prepare and hold a program for us.

During our visit, the learners’ eyes were brimming with joy while they took pictures as firemen in their photo area. They also experienced wearing that red orange firefighter’s uniform exactly their size and rode on a fire truck, Most importantly, the kids simulated the fire exit drill in the house and how to put off fire using a pressurized water hose with the assistance of the BFP in uniform. Further, parents have observed the execution of fire safety procedures, learned about the different helpful tools and how to use them in cases of fire and emergency. Not only that the fire department were passionate about spreading prevention and safety education, they likewise shared packed snacks for our kids prior to the end of our visit, exceeding our expectations and leaving us in awe of amazement as to how thoughtful and warm host they have been.

On the other hand, we transferred across the Police station and when we reached there, it seemed like none of the personnel knew of our purpose or the date we are supposed to visit, for the kids to witness how they are as model, protector of the common people or how they work in office for the reason according the spokesperson, that the kids wouldn’t understand anyway. Instead, we were brought outside to wait for their officers, who gave us a speech that minors are not allowed inside, in cases there are persons deprived of liberty or prisoners. We weren’t able to formally introduce ourselves first or asked of our purpose. Did they just assume that we were there to see the prisoners? Well, we did bring goods, cloths and other necessities of PDLs as part of our charity activities but as law abiding citizens and with permit to visit on that exact date and day, we should have had proper orientation instead of being warned that we should not threaten our children about using the police officers as “monsters” or scary figures while we were standing like packed sardines trying to fit in about 10sqm of the front door. Imagine how many of our children have been day dreaming of becoming police officers and with good intentions, we, as an education institution gives them the best opportunity to appreciate with their most sensitive hearts and innocent thoughts of how great, empathetic and warm our police officers can be! This stage of their life is vital where in they are starting to store long term childhood memories, and that should be mostly full of laughter and appreciation from elders they look up to.

The very main purpose why our school prioritizes community visit is that experiential learning is one of the most effective ways in the education process. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” as put into a quote by Benjamin Franklin. Psychologist David Kolb also explained it as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.”

Thus, despite police officers as popular and as mighty as they seem to be in the eye of our children, it was through that actual community visit we came to a conclusion, both are cool but the fire department as a team has stood up to their public relations duty very excellently.

Aside from the BFP’s simultaneous pressure of duty calls this month, they are actively seen in the community. According to Senior Fire Officer Jurnelyn G. Cubid, BFP Region 6 Miagao Station Head, they are piously holding educational activities in barangay that way people will instill their teachings on fire safety and not become defiant to official orders because awareness and prevention are important. They also conduct tree planting , fishery protection and clean up projects on the coastal, and visit homes for the elderly because they are the most vulnerable and should be reminded how to protect themselves.

Our idea of firefighters’ duties is most probably focused on fire suppression. However, they are more than that. They also respond during typhoon or landslide rescue operations, vehicular accidents and medical emergencies.

This fire protection month, the BFP officers are our real life saviors, vigilantly looking after us even on our careless disposal of cigarette butts that causes wild fires as common cases this summer, or continuously locating sufficient water source not just for their operations but as provision to the people in El Nino season.

As citizens under their care, let us be cooperative with them and not act too selfish by making sure we keep ourselves informed, educated about fire prevention measures which in fact, we have learned since we were preschoolers.