Cabangan, Camalig, Albay—The Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the Regional Animal Feeds Analysis of the Department of Agriculture-5 here conducted their first Earthquake and Fire Drill (EFD) for this year on November 28, 2019 through scenarios based on the possible effects of an earthquake and fire incidence.

According to Senior Fire Officer 2 Haidee M. Nieva, the drill will test the personnel of the two laboratories’ readiness, responsiveness and capacity to assess and respond to various situations. These involved capabilities in Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis, Incident Command System, Search Rescue and Retrieval, Emergency Medical Response, Emergency Communications, and Management of the Dead and Missing, among others.

The actual drill started when the alarm/bell rang for one minute signifying strong shaking. The personnel of the laboratories performed the duck, cover, and hold upon hearing the loud siren which signaled the start of the drill. When the shaking stopped, all drill participants assembled in the evacuation area where team leaders then checked if there are missing or injured. After thorough assessment, the assigned personnel declared the building safe for re-occupation.

After the earthquake drill, the drill for fire also commenced. They practiced the basic fire-extinguishing technique using water and the use of fire extinguisher.

RADDL Chief Dr. Rona Bernales disclosed her plan to conduct surprise drill twice in 2020 to better equip the staff of the laboratories on the needed skills during these incidents. She added that since there are chemicals in the laboratory that when shaken or heated will create fire. Facilitators include Nieva, SFO 1 Ruth A. Ramos, FO1 Jona Mae Verdillo and Philippine National Police. Their rating was Very Satisfactory. (jaysonmgonzales)