Red Cross issues safety reminders for Nazareno devotees, readies teams to be deployed

Map showing the Traslacion 2020 route and the available Philippine Red Cross assets along the way.

ìOur objective is to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of the devotees during the height of the massive gathering,î Gordon said as Philippine Red Cross (PRC) prepares its assets and manpower to be deployed to this yearís Traslacion on January 9, Thursday.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is an annual gathering celebrated by millions of Catholics from all over the country. PRC has been providing assistance to the event which usually attracts huge crowds and is prone to injuries and accidents.

Thirteen first aid stations with welfare desks, situated along the routes of the Traslacion, will be manned by volunteers who are trained to respond to any emergency, treating wounds, major injuries, transporting patients, providing psychosocial support and assistance to those who will be lost and separated from their groups.

These first aid stations will be positioned at the Aquino monument, Round table (Manila City Hall), National Museum, Philippine Normal University, Natividad Lopez Street, P. Casal Street, Nepomuceno Street, San Sebastian, Quiapo bridge and near the Quiapo Church.

A total of 51 ambulances will be deployed during the duration of the procession, while three (3) rescue boats, an amphibian, and rescue vehicles will be available to address emergency cases. The organization has coordinated with 11 nearby hospitals to accommodate patients for cases needing further medical assistance.

Red Cross foot patrollers will also be deployed to closely monitor the crowd along narrow streets and alleys. A thousand volunteers and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will be positioned in areas accessible to devotees who might encounter injuries and health emergencies.

In 2019, volunteers and staff attended to 1,637 devotees who needed BP monitoring and sustained minor and major injuries, such as difficulty in breathing, fainting, body weakness, seizure, and fracture.

Aside from readying its first aid capacities and manpower, PRC also encourages the devotees to observe the following safety reminders:

1)Know the route of the procession.
2)Inform your family members that you are participating in the     feast and your other whereabouts.
3)Advise your family to secure your house before leaving. 4)Unplug all electrical appliances.
5)Be physically and mentally prepared.
6)Pregnant women and persons who are sick are advised to stay   at home and rest.
7)Be sure to have your ID, medical information, and emergency  contact numbers with you.
8)Bring your medications.
9)Wear proper clothing and footwear. Avoid wearing expensive jewelries and bringing expensive electronic devices.
10)Avoid alcoholic beverages. 11)Do not bring sharp objects.
12)Make sure you have eaten before going to the feast, and bring water, candies and biscuits.
13)Bring protective gear against the heat and rain, such as caps and umbrellas.
14)Beware of possible hazards around you during the procession (i.e. motor vehicles, falling debris etc.)
15)Know where you are at all times. When coming by groups, assign a designated meeting point in case someone gets lost.
Stay away from a disorderly group or people
16)Maintain proper distance to avoid unnecessary injuries. Plan a safe exit path.
17)If there is an untoward incident, do not panic and take cover for any threat or hazard.
18)Know the location and means of access towards medical stations, police stations, and other available emergency authorities within the area.

Know your local emergency numbers in case of emergency. Contact Red Cross hotline 143 or 8-790-2300.

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