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Members of the BFP and AISAT extinguishes flames from a simulated fire

October 30, 2023

by Zeth Angelo Bacaoco


With an alarming rise in destructive fire incidents in Davao City, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) – Davao conducted a comprehensive fire drill at the Asian International School of Aeronautics and Technology (AISAT) on October 17, 2023, emphasizing the urgent need for improved safety awareness and emergency preparedness.  The drill engaged the entire AISAT community in a simulated fire emergency scenario. As the mock fire alarm sounded across campus, students, teachers, and personnel performed the evacuation protocols taught to them. The exercise took on added significance in light of the alarming statistics of fire incidents that happened in Davao City within the past year. As part of a well-coordinated safety strategy, evacuees were calmly guided towards the designated assembly point at the Homitori Grounds.


BFP officials were on hand not only to orchestrate the drill but to provide invaluable insights into optimized evacuation techniques. They also educated students on proper fire extinguisher usage – critical skills given the spike in fire incidents this year. The collaborative drill also highlighted the importance of inculcating a culture of safety awareness and resilience among students. Educational institutions play a pivotal role in equipping youth with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively in times of crisis. Instead of panic, the drill instilled a sense of order and methodical action.


From January to October 2023 alone, Davao City Fire District (DCFD) reported a drastic 18.8% increase in fire incidents, with 530 fires compared to 446 over the same period in 2022. This upward trend highlighted the pressing need for preventative action and comprehensive preparedness to tackle the escalating threat of fires across Davao. For Davao City, the alarming rise in fires poses a threat to lives, property, and the continuity of normalcy. However, the successful conduct of AISAT’s drill stands as a beacon of hope. It has set a positive precedent on how schools can partner with authorities to foster preparedness and a safety-first mindset in the face of escalating risks.

AISAT’s school nurse eagerly showcasing her first-aid skills

The school faculty and staff actively participated in simulated search and rescue efforts, meticulously transporting mock casualties to the safe zone area. This underscored the institution’s dedication to holistic emergency preparedness across all fronts. It was also mentioned by the DCFD that a majority of the fires occurred in residential areas (191 incidents), followed by incidents involving electrical posts (139) and waste burning (49). The primary reasons behind these incidents were electrical problems, such as arcing from lost connections, machine overheating, and short circuits. Additionally, reckless use of fire materials, burning garbage, and unsafe disposal of cigarette butts were identified as common causes. For BFP Davao, the drill allowed hands-on evaluation of AISAT’s emergency framework and identification of potential gaps. The lessons gleaned will empower them to advise other institutions on bolstering their preparedness plans and fortifying defenses against fires.


Overall, the success of the collaborative drill has energized AISAT, BFP, and the wider Davao community to adopt a more proactive stance against the rising threat of fires. It has demonstrated that with vigilance, planning, and partnerships – a resilient future is possible, even in the face of adversity.