“FIRE FIGHTING - A JUST CAUSE”
Federation Iloilo Fire Brigade Incorporated has existed for 35 years. Formerly called Iloilo Filipino Chinese Fire Prevention Association Incorporated (FILCHIFP) which was founded and spearheaded by Don Go Pun and some Filipino Chinese Ilonggo businessmen during the aftermath of a big fire in the late 60's that almost engulfed three quarters of Iloilo City in flames.
The Iloilo Filipino Chinese Fire Prevention Association Inc. was incorporated only on January 1977. And eleven years later December 13, 1994 the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Panay (FFCCCI) absorbed the Iloilo Filipino Chinese Fire Prevention Association Inc.
Juanito “Tarzan” Sio who was the incumbent President of the chamber at that time saw the need to modernize the fire fighting fleet of Iloilo 's First Fire Volunteer group fleet. So it was at the time that the Federation of Filipino Chinese of Commerce decided to modernize and reorganize the firefighting volunteer group and named it Federation Iloilo Fire Brigade Incorporated a duly incorporated non-stock non-profit Fire Fighting Volunteer Brigade better known to the Iloilo Community as the “ FEDERATION FIRE ”.
The Federation Fire subsequently modernized the fleet and its firefighting equipment. Starting with the first acquisition of Fire Engine No. 6, this was procured from the government and from then on has continuously upgraded their firefighting gear.
At present current President Ramon Cua Locsin, Fire Chief John Woo and Asst. Fire Chief Walter Peter Uy have contributed tremendously in the continuous modernization of the fleet with fund-raising campaigns, subsequently boosting the morale of the volunteers by raising needed funding for what was to become Iloilo City's premier volunteer Fire Fighting Unit.
“UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO SERVE”
Currently having 90 members that support its cause and another 35 volunteer firefighters to carry out its slogan "ORDINARY PEOPLE… DOING EXTRAORDINARY WORK… ” The volunteers have come to the assistance of numerous people who have been at Hell's Doorway. These volunteers have been to hell and lived to tell the tale of each fire they fight.
Every year the Federation Fire has reaped in praises, citations and awards from cause oriented civic groups and local government units for its unwavering dedication to assist people in quelling the fires that threaten their lives, properties and loved ones.
Each life and property saved from damaging fires never fails to earn the extra leaf for the laurels of each member of the Federation Fire.
"ORDINARY PEOPLE... DOING EXTRAORDINARY WORK"
Fighting fires is not an easy task. One does not just fight fires as to how a duck takes to water. Fighting fires can be a hair-raising, spine-tingling experience. If one thinks that hell can only be realized when one does bad things and plunges to hell. But for the members and volunteers of the Federation Fire, hell can happen anytime – it's just a phone call or a radio call away.
Then the call comes in, The volunteers can not choose to just beg off from the task they have sworn and committed themselves to – the task to fight fires, indeed the job of Fire fighting is no ordinary task. But, Iloilo City can be proud of the members of the Federation Fire, they are not only people with a heart to serve but they certainly are “Ordinary people... doing extraordinary work”
“PUBLIC FIRE PREVENTION EDUCATION”
The Federation Fire never ceases on its tracks, amongst its programs for the future are conducting seminars to the schools and the youth to raise awareness on fire prevention.
The Federation Fire will be offering fire prevention education campaigns as well to companies who wish to have mock fire drills and fire prevention awareness seminars conducted to its employees.
“UTILIZING MODERN TECHNOLOGY”
Plans are in the pipeline to expand the service of the Federation Fire to include Rescue Operations and Medical Emergency Crews tied to the local communications company so that when the time comes for their service to be needed again they are not just merely a call away but with the advancement of Mobile Phone Technology they will now be as we may borrow as often heard and read expression – “A text away”.
“FIL-CHINESE ILONGGO PRIDE”
In 1968 the Iloilo Filipino Chinese Fire Prevention Association Inc. started with a trailer type marine V-8 gasoline engine pump driven fire truck. Later on the volunteer group upgraded with the addition of two trucks (1 - Ford and 1 - Dodge) with fire engine pump attached, something less to be desired. But, nevertheless it was a start for a group of volunteers that had set forth to fight fire and be at hell's door when needed.
Fast-forward to the present year 2003, the Federation Fire prides itself to be counted amongst the most modern fleet of Fire Fighting Volunteers in the Philippines . With a current compliment of 9 Fire Fighting Vehicles equipped with the latest in fire fighting equipment composed of: Engine 1, Engine 2, Pumper 3, Tanker 4, Tanker 7, Engine 8, Tower 9, Tanker 10, and Tanker 11.
The Federation Fire proudly wears its colors to quell fires endangering the lives of people and their properties as well as safeguarding nature's bounties.
The Federation Fire empowered by the Filipino Chinese Community of Iloilo will always remain to be the premier Fire Fighting volunteer group in Iloilo that was a founded to save people, life and property from the damaging effects of a Fire.
Provide free assistance in fighting the damaging effects of Fire with a volunteer crew committed to serve its fellowmen without need for compensation other that the appreciation of their deeds and a job well done.
The Federation Fire will continuously be at the helm of firefighting through continuous development in modernizing the fleet and training the volunteers in effective firefighting methods.
Written by: Stan Lee 10-25-03