January 14, 2015
Red Cross is all set for the Papal Visit
Philippine Red Cross (PRC) volunteers and staff are set to provide assistance to the public with life-saving services including medical, first aid and field hospital, ambulance transport, blood, rescue, water, welfare and tracing/restoring family links during the much anticipated Papal Visit to the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015 in Manila and Leyte.
To ensure the health and safety of those who will participate to the Papal events in Manila, PRC will put up 29 first aid stations in identified strategic locations. Ambulance units and welfare desks will be assigned and established in all first aid stations and other selected areas while roving teams/squads composed of volunteers who will monitor the situation are available.
Chairman Richard Gordon said the PRC as the foremost humanitarian organization will deploy, inside and outside the cordoned areas at the venues, more than 10,000 trained personnel and volunteers from the different Red Cross Chapters to give assistance for any eventuality that may come up during the Holy Father’s visit.
“The personnel and volunteers that we will deploy are all trained in first aid, rescue procedures, and others. They will be stationed in strategic places in all the activities of the Pope,” he added.
PRC also developed an Operation Plan that will guide PRC staff and volunteers to handle untoward incidents. This plan will guarantee PRC will have an effective response system in place.
Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said PRC made sure that all first aid stations, welfare stations and emergency field hospitals are fully equipped, operational and Pope-ready.
“PRC personnel will stand by round the clock during the entire Papal visit and will ensure that all emergency cases were responded to immediately,” she said.
The plan also prepares to anticipate worst case or complex scenarios which have a high probability to lead to a mass casualty incident such as stampede, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters or multifaceted emergencies that may coincide with the event.
A mass casualty incident is any call involving three or more patients or any situation that requires mutual aid response or any incident that has the potential for one of those situations above to overwhelm the resources of responders.
To address a MCI, PRC will also put up five (5) Emergency Field Hospitals for treatment of major injuries and illness prior transport to hospital for advance medical treatment as may be required by the patients’ condition and will mobilize thousands of volunteers in five (5) papal events in different dates and locations. Blood supply will also be available at thefield hospitals located at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Le Pavillion in Pasay, Palacio de Manila,Manila Bulletin and Clam Shell in Intramuros.
Red Cross has also prepared a contingency plan including evacuation and continuity operations in case of imminent threat as it continues to link and network with its partners and stakeholders including government, non-government, and private organizations.
In the last Feast of Black Nazarene Procession, the PRC responded to a total of 1,727 cases incurred by the devotees during the 20 hour procession held on January 9.
The cases ranged from difficulty of breathing, fainting, dizziness, chest pain to headache and minor injuries such as wounds, abrasions and lacerations.
PRC assisted 70 others with welfare aid ranging from stress debriefing, guidance and counseling, contact of missing relatives and referral.
Red Cross response also included blood-pressure check up of 924 devotees and treatment of 696 minor injuries.
Red Cross Safety Tips for the Papal Visit
Staying Safe while in the Crowds
- Inform your relatives of your whereabouts before leaving the house.
- Upon arrival to any event, explore a little bit, take a loop around the area and look for the following key safety points:
- Decide on a meeting place in case of separation, or transit stop before entering a venue.
- Identify all exits which are closest to you, don’t limit yourself to the front entry, which will be a point of exodus should disaster strike.
- Bring food, water and medicines. Being in the middle of an active crowd, you can get hot so drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.
- Bring any identification.
- Bring mask (in case you are sensitive to dust) or gears for protection (goggles, helmet, etc.)
- Identify locations of stations where you can get help/assistance (first aid, welfare, ambulance, water stations, emergency field hospitals, etc.).
- Identify emergency hotlines to report any untoward incidents. Red Cross Hotline 527-0000 or 143.
- Wear closed shoes.
- Do not bring children. If you feel that your child is mature enough (perhaps a savvy 10-year-old), agree on a designated meeting place in case you get separated. Have him/her repeat it aloud so it sticks. Never choose the entrance or parking lot. The ideal meeting place is an information center or welfare or first aid stations, since staff are used to dealing with lost kids.
- Do not bring any valuables.
- When you arrive, scope out the scene. Familiarize yourself with the venue’s layout. Take note of all emergency exits. And choose a meeting spot for your family, in the case anyone gets separated from the rest of the group.
- Do not stand near or climb on temporary structures which could collapse under too much weight.
- Do not position yourself in a movable object such as doors, stage or barricade. These provide no avenue of escape. The pressure from the crowd can crush your chest cavity cutting off your oxygen supply, which could cause asphyxiation.
- If you find yourself in the middle of the crowd, don’t stand still or sit down – you can easily get trampled. Keep your legs moving in the direction of the crowd and try getting to the outside where the flow is.
To Survive from a Stampede
- Keep to the wall. In the rare event of a stampede, try to move sideways to the crowd until you get to a wall. Then press yourself against it until the crowd dissipates, or you find a better exit.
- Stay on your feet.
- Conserve energy – don’t push against the crowd and don’t yell or scream.
- Use sign language to communicate with those around you (point, wave, even use your eyes).
- Keep your hands up by your chest, like a boxer – it gives you movement and protects your chest.
- If you are knocked down to into a turtle position if possible. You do that by tucking your knees under your chest. When you attempt to stand again try to stand straight up.
- Inhale and exhale with deep breaths. Fear will make it hard to breath.
- If, when you find a side street/ side room keep looking for an exit and make more distance from the crowd. You don’t know if a sub-group will break off and head your way.
Locations of Red Cross First Aid Stations
Manila Cathedral – January 16
- Arsobispo cor. Andres Soriano Ave. near Fire Station
- Cabildo St. cor. Andres Soriano Ave. near Chowking
Mall of Asia Arena – January 16
- Coral Way in front of SMX
- Coral Way cor. Pacific Drive (near Coral Gate of MOA Arena)
- Marina Way near Mall proper of MOA
- Marina Way cor. Pacific Drive (near Marina Gate of MOA Arena)
- Pacific Drive (South Wing Terminal)
- MOA Globe (Rotonda) Diokno Blvd. near South Wing Terminal
- MOA Globe (Rotonda) Diokno Blvd. in front of SM Corporate Offices Bldg. E
- MOA Globe (Rotonda) Diokno Blvd. near North Wing Terminal
- Pacific Drive cor. Sunset Avenue near North Wing Terminal
UST – January 18
- Tamayo Drive cor. Arellano Drive (UST Grounds)
- Osmeña Drive cor. Arellano Drive (UST Grounds)
- Lacson Ave. across UST Hospital
Quirino Grandstand – January 18
- Southdrive cor. Roxas Blvd. near MuseoPambata
- Southdrive near Blue Bay and Ocean Park
- Southdrive near Carabao Statue
- Katigbak drive near Roxas Blvd. inside the Quirino Grounds
- Katigbak Drive near the Police station and Ocean Park
- In front of Manila Hotel Entrance
- Bonifacio Drive cor. Katigbak near Manila Hotel
- Padre Burgos Drive cor. Bonifacio Drive near Aquino Monument
- Padre Burgos Drive cor. Palacio St. near Round Table
- Valencia Circle near Lapu-Lapu Monument
- Maria Orosa St. near Orchidarium
- Rizal Park near the Fountain Area
- Rizal Park near Chinese Garden
- TM Kalaw St. in front of PNB
- TM Kalaw St. across Jorge Bocobo St.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Philippine national police (PNP) reiterated its advice for the public to remain calm when Pope Francis arrives in the country later today.
PNP Spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor encouraged the public to imitate the discipline showed by South Koreans when the Pope visited their country.
The PNP also advised everyone to bring lots of water, be ready for the crowds, and know where the first-aid booths are located in case of an emergency.
People with medical conditions and chronic illnesses should keep their medicines at hand. Umbrellas are prohibited in the area but raincoats are encouraged, so as not to obstruct the view of others.
The PNP, along with other security groups, is gearing up for the millions of Filipinos who are expected to join the Apostolic Visit activities of Pope Francis in the country.