The Regional Emergency Assistance Communication Team (REACT) is a duly organized national emergency unit with a main purpose to promote and develop the use of radio communications as a means of assistance in times of calamities and other emergencies.
One of their objectives is to instill among its members a high value of responsibility, a sense of dedication and deep concern for the welfare of fellowmen. REACT Philippines provides assistance to any form of emergencies through local groups in any region who operate their own respective fire and rescue brigades that conform to the standards set by the government who administers fire and rescue operation.
In Oroquieta City, its local chapter REACT called "REACT Squid Group" is a group of volunteers. The majority of them are professionals that include physicians, lawyers, judges, businessmen, bank managers, engineers, contractors, municipal mayors, and others. This group provides primary fire and emergency medical services to the City and several surrounding unincorporated areas including other towns of Misamis Occidental. REACT Squid Group also works and collaborates with all REACT teams throughout the province of Misamis Occidental.
Before being accepted into the group, each volunteer is required to meet the required orientation and training, particularly in Basic Life Support and AR/CPR provided by the Philippine National Red Cross. They are also trained on emergency communication dispatch, especially on the use of their own respective radio communication systems and radio frequency which is exclusively used for the REACT Philippines. All members are required to keep their respective radios turned on at all times and ready to respond to any emergency assistance needed regardless of any situation.
There have been many reported classic examples of how well REACT Philippines functions as a team. One of them is a reported most recent incident that took place one night at 10:00 in Oroquieta City. A holdup-robbery was reported via the emergency radio alerting all REACT members of the situation. The message described the getaway motorcycle used by the robbers heading towards the direction of Ozamiz City. A REACT member from the town of Aloran jumped out of his bed and hurried in his jeep towards the highway to block the perpetrators and was immediately joined by the town's police force. However, they did not see signs of the perpetrators passing through Aloran. The message was simultaneously sent to all the towns leading to Ozamiz City. The policemen of the town of Pana-on reported seeing one vehicle who had momentarily passed through their town. They simultaneously sent an alert which was then received by the policemen of the town of Jimenez. By this time, the robbers were captured and arrested.
Another reported incident was the recent fire that broke out in Ozamiz City. The REACT Squid Group went to help in controlling the fire. Their presence became significant because the Ozamiz City fire department building and its two fire trucks were burned as the fire escalated from the building next to the fire department. Of the many members of the REACT Squid Group, two of them are regularly involved in direct fire fighting tasks. Shown in the picture with the fire truck are Atty. Ricardo Lumantas, a former councilor of Oroquieta City, and Assistant City Prosecutor Jaime Ramos. Both men are directly involved in fire fighting, such as the one that occurred in Ozamiz City.
With its collaborative effort with the City Government, the REACT Squid Group serves two basic purposes. 1) to prevent fire or medical emergencies from occurring, and 2) to confront and control fire or medical emergencies should prevention measures fail. These are done through community education programs, such as fire prevention, health maintenance, inspections, fire safety, pre-incident planning, and code enforcement programs that are supported by their emergency response system.
The beginning of the REACT Squid Group in its firefighting assistance, can be traced back to the City Government's aging and dilapidated fire truck. The said fire truck had been reportedly left abandoned in a garage in the town of Calamba by the Philippine National Police (PNP) when it developed mechanical trouble and became useless. The PNP were reportedly in possession of all the provincial fire trucks in previous years. Consequently, the enthusiastic REACT Squid Group asked the City Government to take the said fire truck back to Oroquieta City for obvious reasons. The City Government donated the fire truck for REACT purposes while the team repaired and refurbished the truck at their own expense. Today, the Oroquieta City's intrepid and daring REACT Squid Group has a functional fire truck that is ready for use in times of fire and other emergencies. This group is always on alert, ready and able to respond immediately in dire emergencies.
To REACT Squid Group and REACT Philippines: Your courageous and heroic effort to save lives and keep the peace in our homeland is undoubtedly appreciated by your fellow Filipinos, especially Oroquietanians around the globe, and oroquietacity.com salutes you....God Speed!!!