Emergency response units participated in the Civil Protection Fair in Concepción, Biobío Region

Together with different organizations linked to disaster response, both from the public and private sectors, CMPC participated in the event at the Plaza Independencia in Concepción in the Biobío Region of Chile. The aim was to showcase its operational equipment, fire brigades and fire prevention outreach material.

The International Day for Disaster Reduction is celebrated every year on October 13, the aim of which is to raise awareness of the risks arising from natural disasters and to generate a culture of prevention and preparedness in the face of natural phenomena that cause damage to people and the territory alike.

In the case of Chile, this reflection also considers the consequences of the forest fires that occurred in the country. The unfortunate balance from last summer included 26 fatalities, 8,000 victims of property damage, 33,909 dead animals and 426,387 hectares destroyed. 

To commemorate this day, the Presidential Delegation of the Biobío Region organized the “Civil Protection Fair” expo in the Plaza Independencia de Concepción. Different State institutions, private entities and civil society organizations deployed a number of actions to let the public know how their teams are working on prevention and preparedness in case of emergency. The meeting was attended by about twenty organizations including CONAF [National Forest Corporation], SENAPRED [National Disaster Prevention and Response Service], Concepción Health Services, the Carabinero Police Force, Firefighters, the Chilean Army and Navy, other public services and organizations as well as companies in the forestry industry like CMPC.

“We know that the Biobío Region has a high propensity for different types of emergencies. Therefore, having an informed citizenry that understands and has the necessary knowledge to be able to react to different emergencies is essential. We want to emphasize here that we have, for example, the health services deployed with resuscitation strategies to be able to give people first aid. We have the Carabineros of Chile, the Armed Forces, the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) and Firefighters also showing a variety of machinery. We also have the National Prevention and Response Service (SENAPRED) on hand, which even has an earthquake simulator,” said Daniela Dresdner, presidential delegate of the Biobío Region.

Dresdner added, “In this same square right now we have CMPC and Arauco, which are CORMA companies, working on fire issues with us. They are extremely important in this work of fire prevention and management.”

Teresa Bravo, CMPC’s Head of the Community Relations Department said, “This fair demonstrates the different public and private organizations that are collaborating on the issues of forest fires, be it preventing or fighting fires. CMPC came here with its operational teams and fire brigades, which are prepared to fight forest fires. They also have written material that shows residents how to prevent an accident from occurring, as they are the first barrier of prevention.”

The audience showed great interest in the initiative, especially because of the care that must be taken during the forest fire season. “It’s extremely important because, as we know, we experienced an intense situation with the fires this year and last. I think it’s essential to spread the word. There are some institutions I had no idea about, so this has been very good. To me, the earthquake simulator is totally new and important to help ensure that prevention tactics get shared far and wide,” said Edinora Pereira, a local resident.     

Patricia Amaya, another neighbor, visited the event and praised the activity. “Wonderful, just great. With everything that is happening now, we’re very concerned about this issue.  They should do it more often, unceasingly really, since we live in a risk zone. I live next to the hill here in Ecuador Park. There’s a forest nearby. There should be even more civic education about it, in schools, universities, just like this in public areas and on the street. This is what this city and, in fact, Chile as a whole needs right now,” she said.