The Association of Volunteer Fire Chiefs and Firefighters of the Philippines, Inc. was founded in 1987 with an initial membership of seven (7) fire brigades. Though its primary objective was to engage in firefighting operations, the association was also involved in water distribution during shortages. Even if our area of operations was centered in Metro Manila, the association also assisted during the aftermath of the earthquake in Baguio and Cabanatuan Cities. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo was also an opportunity for us to assist in cleaning the metropolis, including the runaway in NAIA. We have also conducted dental and medical missions in various depressed areas in Metro Manila. We have participated in numerous rescue operations, including the transport of victims of the sea accident of MV San Nicolas to medical facilities. On the average, we respond to more than 800 fires and emergencies a year.
We were the first organization to be granted an emergency reporting hotline (16-0-16) by PLDT in 1996. Thru the efforts of Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, the association was able to erect its own headquarters on a 1,000 sq.m. lot in the Manila Harbour Centre in tondo. We are also the first Filipino-Chinese civic organization to be invited as a participant in the parade commemorating Philippine Independence at the Luneta.
Today, on our 20th year of continued service to the community, we now have a membership roster of 35 volunteer fire brigades. These brigades have a complement of around 100 firetrucks, water tankers and rescue units. These are manned by 1,500 firefighters and paramedics. Our headquarters are staffed with radio and telephone operators to monitor calls for assistance on a 24/7 basis.