The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is all set for Traslacion 2020, deploying 47 ambulances along the route of the procession of the Black Nazarene.
Apart from ambulances, PRC chair and CEO, Senator Richard Gordon said the Red Cross will also use three of its boats, an amphibian, and rescue vehicles for emergency cases.
“Our objective is to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of the devotees during the height of the massive gathering,” Gordon said in a media forum at the Kamuning Bakery Cafe in Quezon City.
Gordon said PRC has coordinated with 11 nearby hospitals to accommodate patients for cases needing further medical assistance.
The PRC, he added, will also set up an Emergency Medical Unit (EMU) along the procession route. This outdoor hospital arrangement that will be run by volunteer doctors and nurses can accommodate special services, such as emergency childbirth, basic surgery, laboratory, and inpatient observation.
Gordon said 13 first-aid stations with welfare desks will be manned by volunteers who have undergone emergency response training.
These stations will tend to participants who will sustain injuries and provide 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), Plaza Mexico (Post Office), San Sebastian, near Quiapo Church, and three other areas.
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.
The feast of the Black Nazarene is an annual gathering celebrated by millions of Catholics from all over the country. The PRC has been providing assistance to the event, which usually attracts huge crowds and is prone to injuries and accidents.
In 2019, PRC volunteers and staff attended to 1,637 devotees who sustained minor and major injuries, such as difficulty in breathing, fainting, body weakness, seizure, and fracture.
The Department of Health, meanwhile, has already prepared some 20 medical teams for the Traslacion 2020 procession on January 9. (PNA)