HI beneficiaries trained to become disaster ‘first responders’

BFPWDAI member Merfe __ takes part in a "medical first response" training in Baras, Rizal.

BFPWDAI member Merfe Galoyo (foreground, with white hair band) takes part in a “medical first response” training in Baras, Rizal. Photo: Mhandy Alfonso / Handicap International

People with disabilities can be among the first to give medical aid to disaster victims.

Three persons with disabilities proved this in a recent training on “medical first response” in Baras, Rizal.

Romulo Lacayan, Merfe Galoyo, and Roberto Cortez – members of the Baras Federation of Persons with Disabilities Inc. (BFPWDAI), which is a beneficiary of Handicap International’s REBUILD Project – attended the two-day training alongside 40 other participants. They learned how to perform first-response methods such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), splinting, and moving or lifting patients.

Conducted by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Bureau of Fire Protection, the training was held at the Baras Municipal Gymnasium. Other participants included police officers, barangay and municipal health workers, and volunteers.

“[The training] was very important, especially for people like us, who have disabilities,” said Cortez, a peer educator, whose duty is to raise awareness on disability and to encourage people with disabilities to take part in community activities.

The REBUILD Project is a livelihoods and inclusive local development project funded by the European Union and Swiss Solidarity. It aims to ensure that people with disabilities and other vulnerable people receive various services to help them exercise their rights in all aspects of life.

An important part of Handicap International’s holistic intervention is facilitating the inclusion of people with disabilities in disaster risk reduction and management.

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The REBUILD Project is implemented with financial support from