To ensure that the business unit is fully prepared to handle emergencies in times of disasters, VECO formally created its very own Emergency Response Team in July.
OSSHED called for volunteers and a total of 33 Kaibigans volunteered for the ERT but only 16 were chosen after a rigorous screening process that included criteria such as willingness to join the team, physical/health of the volunteer, age and civil status, medical background, as well as position in the company.
The VECO ERT members are Idyll A. Ebrado, Glaiza Marie U. Pilapil, Mark Anthony C. Mangubat, Joseph B. Inoy, Mark Anthony E. Oyao, Aljames A. Catadman, Bernabe B. Cabo, Marlon S. Rosales, Julio Nuera Jr., Michaelangelo L. Indiola, James O. Cabangahan, Gratz Dale Noel G. Redoble, Ronald A. Gonesto, Marvin L. Bucay, Guillermo O. Uayan and Ramonito Omboy.
Fifteen of the ERT members were then trained by the Office of Civil Defense from July 24 to July 28. Here are the insights of Mark Anthony Oyao and Bernabe Cabo on the training that challenged not only their mental but also their physical capabilities:
My ERT Experience
By Mark Oyao
There was talk that VECO will create an emergency response team. But nothing was definite and for a while, I thought it would only be just that, rumors. Then the rumor became a reality. I was part of it, and it was an enjoyable experience.
When OSSHED asked for volunteers for the VECO ERT, it dawned on me that if I volunteer, whatever I will learn during the training can be applied not only at the workplace but also at home.
The world is very unpredictable. We don’t know when and where an accident, calamity or disaster will strike. Questions that came to my mind were: What if it will come? Am I ready for it ? Am I prepared for this? How can I save my family? The questions cemented my resolve to join the team.
The VECO ERT members were exposed to physical, mental and emotional training for five days.
The first day of training was more on lectures while the succeeding days were more on drills and proper execution of topics discussed during the first day like Basic Life Support (BLS), CPR, bandaging, sling and swat, splinting, proper carrying and drags, vehicular extrication, fire hose handling, fire hose handling with ladder, knot tying, triage and many more. Our trainers from the Office of Civil Defense made sure we learned from the lectures and demos.
I really enjoyed the training because the knowledge I learned benefits not just me but other people as well. After the training, I became more confident and aware of emergency response and safety measures. I shared this very remarkable experience to my family and friends because I believe that awareness will provide better results. If more people are aware, more will be ready when disaster strikes.
We cannot stop disasters from happening but with knowledge, we can be prepared.
Being part of the Elite VECO ERT
By Bernabe Cabo
It was not easy becoming a member of the VECO ERT. Although we volunteered to join the team, the volunteers had to go through screening that included an interview with two managers to assess our physical and mental readiness for the training.
As what OSSHED Manager Sir Benje told us before the start of the training, the team was chosen as the ELITE forces for emergency response. Hearing the word “elite” made me feel very proud.
I learned so many things during the training. The First Aid session was interesting but the CPR training was very exhausting and involved a lot of heavy breathing, sweat and CSF, a joke that only ERT members can understand. There were also funny moments wherein while practicing rescue moves, one of us shouted the command, “Ready to lift the customer!” instead of saying victim. Oh well, I guess, because we are so customer-oriented, it has already become a habit.
The firefighting session was another exhausting exercise that even the ladies of the team were not spared from crawling under a 4-wheeled vehicle. Many team members also had difficulty during the rappelling session because of fear of heights.
Another important learning we had during the training was that not everything goes according to plan. This, we learned during the session where we were supposed to lift our “victim” Bonnie. We were not able to lift him at first because he was way too heavy. However, we were able to carry him eventually using another technique. Not according to plan but with initiative, we were able to fulfill our task.
Despite the rigorous training, we, the members of the VECO ERT, do not gain anything monetary because we volunteered to join the team. But we are very proud to be members of this elite team and we are very much ready to to help our kaibigans and other people should an emergency happen.