April 14, 2024

The three-day National Fire Olympics (NFO) of the Bureau of Fire Protection which launched on March 19 concluded with 1,600 participants enhancing their skills in fire suppression.

BFP spokesperson, Fire S/Supt. Annalee Atienza said the annual competition is designed to increase community awareness of fire safety and prevention, strengthen the response force, and promote camaraderie among firefighters.

The participants represented government, commercial, industrial and barangay fire brigades. They were from regions 1, 2, 4A, 4B, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, National Capital Region, Cordillera, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Caraga.

Industrial and barangay level fire brigades who participated were the Bayog Community Fire Auxiliary Group, Nuval Ayala Land Estate, Federal, Toyota, La Union, Marquee Mall Emergency Response Team, Meralco Rescue, Natcon, Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation, Dinapigue Mining, Barangay Alapan 1-A, Barangay Malued, Barangay Bineng, Barangay, Sta. Rita, Barangay Hangayabon, Barangay Sagrada CFAG, Barangay Alfonso 13, and Barangay Villa Ventura.

New events to the sporting lineup has been introduced during the fire olympics. These are the Tower Rescue Challenge, a simulation involving five players rescuing a dummy across the Twin Towers, showcasing modern ropemanship and rescue techniques employed by the BFP.

Another addition is the Ultimate Firefighter (BUFF), a four-player obstacle course emphasizing proper donning of personal protective equipment and retrieval of essential equipment and victims.

Tower Blitz, a returning event from previous NFOs, features a seven-player engine relay aiming to down targets in a distant tower and retrieve a victim dummy.

The Rapid Intervention Team event, involving four female players, simulates rescuing a downed firefighter during fire suppression, showcasing forcible entry techniques and victim retrieval.

Fire Hose Down, is a five-player obstacle relay involving maneuvering a fire hose and throwing it through a designated target.

Among the volunteer events is the Community/Industrial Fire Busters, a unique bucket relay incorporating suction equipment to direct water towards downing three targets.

Fire Blitz, similar to Tower Blitz but without victim retrieval, also joins the roster.

The Ultimate Fire Volunteer Challenge mirrors BUFF but without victim retrieval.

Lastly, the Universal Event, Blazing Competition, involves a tug-of-war with a fire truck towards a finish line, with the fastest time securing victory.

The BFP Band Musiklaban 3 featured musicians from the BFP regional offices, showcasing their original compositions that centered on fire safety and the heroism of those who safeguard lives and properties.

The NFO started in 2015 at the Quezon City Circle. Subsequent NFOs expanded in scale and complexity, moving to the Quirino Grandstand, featuring the iconic Twin Towers simulations. The event paused for two years due to the pandemic but resumed in 2022.

Over the years, NFO evolved into an international-style event hosted by different regions, with last year’s edition at SM Seaside, Cebu City, integrating new events like Tower Blitz and Fire Hose Down.

The BFP is also strengthening its modernization program – a 10-year endeavor aimed at enhancing the BFP’s equipment, training, and personnel. The program prioritizes acquisition of new equipment and the expansion of personnel until their vision of achieving a fire-safe nation by 2034 is achieved.

“Fire safety or fire prevention is everybody’s concern and we strive to increase public awareness through such activities, with the hope that the importance of fire prevention remains ingrained in their minds. Our goal is for people to understand that fire prevention should not be limited to just the month of March but should be a priority every single day,” said Atienza. – Krizia Mae Pagusan