AMITY PUBLIC SAFETY ACADEMY (APSA)
The idea of a Public Safety Academy evolved from the training needs of the Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade (AVFB). Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade was organized in 1977. Because of the desire to continually develop the skills of its volunteer emergency responders, the need for a training center was identified as early as in the 1990s.
By the late 1990s, because of the realization by many established groups in the necessity of public safety, there were many requests for training in Medical First Aid, CPR, Fire Fighting and Rescue skills. This highlighted even more the need for a training center.
In 1999, the Negros Occidental Provincial Government, under the administration of Gov. Rafael L. Coscolluela, executed a Deed of Usufruct in favor of the Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade, providing a 4,000 square meter portion within the Pana-ad Park and Stadium located at Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City, specifically to be utilized as a training center. This marked the start of a close working relationship between the Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, the Negros Rescue Federation (NRF) and the Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade,
Through donations coordinated by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc., two classroom structures, of two classrooms each, was constructed at the site and was inaugurated in January 2000.
When the administration of Governor Joseph G. Marañon took over the helm of Negros Occidental, the Provincial Disaster Management Team (PDMT) was organized to provide continuing efforts to upgrade and improve on the disaster management efforts of the Province of Negros Occidental.
The PDMT tapped the organization and the volunteers of NRF to provide the manpower for response during emergencies. New rescue volunteer groups were organized in cities and municipalities that do not have these groups, while the skills and capabilities of the existing groups were strengthened and upgraded. These efforts again highlighted the need for a formal training center.
Because of the common need for training volunteers, and because of the close working relationship between the Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade, the NRF, and the PDMT, it was agreed that the training center take the lead in upgrading and standardization of the skills and training of volunteer responders. Thus, the training center was converted and renamed as the AMITY PUBLIC SAFETY ACADEMY, and is now a joint undertaking of the Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade, the NRF, and the PDMT.
A new Board of Trustees for the Academy was established to oversee the operation of the Academy. This Board of Trustees is composed of four trustees, representing the Amity Volunteer Fire Brigade, one trustee each representing the NRF, the PDMT, and the Governor’s Office.
- To provide proper facilities and standardized training for emergency responders
- To make these trainings easily available to those who are interested in serving the community
- To promote and advocate Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Change Adaptation (DRR-CCA) programs
- Medical First Responder (MFR)
- Emergency Medical Technician – Basic Course
- Basic Fire Suppression
- Basic Rescue and Emergency Care
- Community Emergency Response Team (developed by FEMA)
- Collapsed Structure Search and Rescue (CSSR)
- Medical First Aid
- Vehicle Extrication Course
- Phil. Heart Association’s BLS/ACLS
- American Heart Association’s BLS/ACLS
- Community Action for Disaster Response & Emergency (CADRE)
- Emergency Vehicle Operation (EVO) Course
- Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRRM)
- Urban Search & Rescue (USAR)
The Academy also offers skill courses such as Rappelling and High Angle Rescue Technique, Single Rope Technique Water Search and Rescue, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Swim and Survive (Up to Level 7), Rubber boat handling, Mountaineering, Survival Techniques, Swift (White) Water Rescue, and others.
The Academy also provides assistance for development of Disaster Management by conducting seminars and workshops. Topics include the following:
- 24/7 Emergency Center Operations
- The Role of the Emergency Manager
- Preparation of Hazard Vulnerability Assessment
- Incident Management System (ICS)
- Accreditation by the HEALTH EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT STAFF, Office of the Secretary, Department of Health
- Medical First Aid Course is registered with the Technological Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as per Certificate of TVET Program Registration No. VI-0002, Series of 1999.
- Accreditation for MFR and CSSR Courses by the National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET)-Program for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) – Nepal, Kathmandu
- Affiliation with the Philippine Heart Association
- Cooperation with the Office of Civil Defense / National Disaster Coordinating Council
- Authorized International Training Center of the American Heart Association Training Center No. ZZ20752
- Cooperation with GlobalFire of Canada
- Cooperation with Red R Australia
- Cooperation with Community Emergency Management Institute (CEMI) of Japan
- Cooperation with PUM Senior Experts, The Hague, Netherlands