March is fire prevention month in the Philippines and with this infographic we are presenting a picture of why after 47 years since Marcos initiated the fire prevention month
we are still failing to prevent fires in our country.
According to the COA, we severely lack firefighters and fire stations
. Based on this report, there are only 13,272 firefighters to serve the 97.7 million population which translates to 1.4 firefighters for every 10,000 Filipinos. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
of the USA has a recommended 2 firefighters per 1,000 residents meaning the Philippines lacks 85,000 firefighters to meet this standard. FEMA
also releases a report on the total firefighters in the USA which pegs their count to 3.33 firefighters for every 1,000 Americans.
In 2012, the DBM released a report
on the performance measures of the BFP where they showed that 85.6% (4,288 of of 5,009 fire incidents in the NCR) were responded to within 5-7 minutes. There is no data for country-wide SLA for the BFP. Comparing this to the NFPA standard of 90% within 5 minutes
and it doesn't paint a pretty picture.
If you notice, we did not mention anywhere in this post the number of fires on a year-on-year basis. It is in our opinion that that number is not the only factor in measuring fire prevention success rates. If you wish to successfully prevent fires, we need more fire safety inspectors to verify establishments and homes and ensure that the fire code is followed. In our opinion, it is the BFP's mandate to adequately staff fire fighting needs for our country and looking at the above we are suffering from the lack of service the BFP supplies.