Sunday, February 25, 2018

Smart provides CDO students emergency response training

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications has organized an emergency response and management training for students of University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in Cagayan de Oro City (USTP-CDO).

The whole-day workshop was a “training of trainers” that equipped the students with skills to be able to conduct their own preparedness lessons for members of their communities.

The activity is part of the company’s Tropang Ready program, a nationwide caravan of Smart’s TNT brand, which tours schools in the Philippines to teach the youth and their friends (tropa) the importance of disaster preparedness.

TNT Tropang Ready is an initiative under Smart’s advocacy for a #SafePH, which promotes preparedness through mobile solutions and on-ground activities to help communities mitigate disaster risks.

Last year, a large population of USTP-CDO students were stranded inside their campus as heavy rains and neck-deep flooding hit the city. A few weeks later, more than 2,000 students attended the TNT Tropang Ready disaster preparedness caravan initiated by Smart at their university. The event featured talks and disaster preparedness lessons by emergency management experts and representatives from the local government, disaster risk reduction and management office, University of the Philippines Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (UP Noah) Center, and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), among other organizations.

For the training of trainers activity, which was the second phase of the Tropang Ready program, Smart tapped the expertise of Louie Domingo and Tan Palma of Emergency Management Center. They taught the participants how to prepare for and what to do during typhoons, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis, among other calamities.

Sir Louie Domingo demonstrating the proper "duck-cover-hold"
Among the lessons they taught the students were first aid and self-defense techniques, and pointers on how to assemble a “Go Bag” or an “e-Balde,” an emergency kit meant to help an individual or a family survive the next few days following a calamity. The kit included canned food, water, flashlight, batteries, cell phone and an umbrella, among other essentials.

Attendees were likewise tapped to be part of the Tropang Ready community on Facebook, where they could meet online with members of other Tropang Ready schools and share ideas on preparedness and response efforts in their own areas, among other topics.

A student tries her hand at using a fire extinguisher during the
TNT Tropang Ready “training of trainers” activity at USTP-CDO
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The young members of the society play an important role in disaster preparedness, according to Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT and Smart public affairs head. “They have the mobility, the skills, the technological know-how—they have what it takes to spread the culture of preparedness,” Isberto said.

“TNT Tropang Ready aims to turn the youth into ambassadors of preparedness in their own communities,” said Smart community partnerships senior manager Nova Concepcion. “We are also working to help include disaster preparedness in the educational curriculum,” she said, noting that the goal of the workshop was to enable the students to conduct trainings in their own communities as part of their school’s extension program.