The Sea Ambulance Operations Team (SAOT) of the Iloilo provincial government underwent a six-day training on first aid, basic life support and water search and rescue recently. The training held at Iyang Beach Resort in Concepcion, Iloilo was facilitated by the Philippine Red Cross – Iloilo Chapter and the Provincial Agriculture Office.
SAOT is composed of the Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat crew, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (MDRRM) personnel and representatives from the local government units of Carles and Concepcion. It was organized to serve as manpower component of the two new Bantay Dagat patrol boats cum sea ambulances established by the provincial government with the help of Italian firm Societa d’ Amico di Navigazione’ through Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno.
Societa d’ Amico di Navigazione’ donated US$100,000 for the construction of the two sea ambulances. The sea ambulances are equipped with collapsible stretchers and medical kits and have an accompanying rubber boats each.
Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. earlier said the rubber boats will be used to pick up and carry the patients from the shore. One sea ambulance will be serving the island barangays of Carles and Estancia while the other one will serve Concepcion and Ajuy. The two sea ambulances will also help in the campaign against illegal fishing activities in northern Iloilo as they will also conduct routine patrol operations.
Defensor noted that the effect of his no-nonsense campaign against illegal fishing activities are now being felt by small fishermen and the people in the coastal areas. The governor said, he received many feedbacks that there are now plenty of fishes and other aquatic resources in the marine waters of northern Iloilo.