Quezon City – In time for the country’s observance of the 123rd Philippine Independence Day, BFP NCR has activated its Special Rescue Force (SRF), 1st Battalion, and 1st Land Specialized Operations Regiment via Zoom on June 11, 2021.
The battalion is composed of the Alpha Company of Fire District 1, Bravo Company of Fire District 2, Charlie Company of Fire District 3, Delta Company of Fire District 4, Echo Company of Fire District 5, and Foxtrot Company of the Regional Office. No less than DIR JOSE S EMBANG, JR, Chief, BFP and Founder of BFP SRF, and SSUPT ROMEL C TRADIO, first and incumbent National Director of BFP SRF, have come to officiate the activation ceremony.
The Special Rescue Force (SRF) is the national support service of the Bureau of Fire Protection, tasked to handle the proactive and reactive fire search and rescue services.
As the bureau’s elite force, it caters to all types of situations needing rescue, with the following units:
1) K9 Search and Rescue Unit – assists in determining live and cadaver victims during search, rescue, and retrieval operations.
2) Marine Fire Search and Rescue Platoon – conducts marine fire search and rescue and boat fire suppression operation, involving offshore and inter-island fire incidents.
3) CBRN/Hazmat Team – detects and responds to any threat of weapons of mass destruction and hazardous materials or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances, such as the ammonia leak incidents in Navotas City early this year.
4) Urban Search and Rescue Unit – involves the location, extrication, and initial medical stabilization of victims trapped in an urban area or collapsed structures, due to natural disasters, war, or terrorism.
5) High Angle Rescue Team – performs rescue operations in terrains with slopes of 60 degrees or greater. This team is equipped with a comprehensive set of skills, including rope techniques. This skill set was used during the retrieval operations after the Itogon, Benguet landslide in 2019.
For eight years, the bureau concentrated on fire prevention, suppression and control alone until F/COL. ROGELIO N TUBMBAGA signed a memorandum on March 12, 1998, creating the Special Rescue Unit (SRU). With an initial strength of seventeen (17) men led by then F/SINSP JOSE S EMBANG, JR, SRU debuted when it rescued a distraught woman along Eugenio Lopez Drive, Quezon City in November 1998.
Now, with F/DIR JOSE S EMBANG, JR at the helm of BFP, SRU (now SRF) has seven rescue battalions with 1196 members nationwide.