Red Cross training volunteers for retrieval work in Marawi
MARAWI CITY – The International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) and the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) have started training volunteers and rescue personnel on the proper retrieval of cadavers from the war zone here.
The training, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), was held here on Tuesday in preparation for the foreseen massive operation for the retrieval of those killed in the firefight between soldiers and Maute gunmen and their allies.
Lany Dela Cruz, senior communications officer of the ICRC, said it was best to train those who will be involved in the retrieval operations this early on the proper procedure and management of cadavers.
Up to 300 cadavers, including that of more than 20 civilians reportedly killed by Maute gunmen, were expected to be retrieved when the fighting ends.
“We really don’t know the exact number of dead people inside the city yet,” she said.
The military had said the resistance of the gunmen had weakened as the fighting dragged on for over a month now.
Dela Cruz said among the measures they will be taking during the actual retrieval operation included a ban on civilian entry to the city until after the retrieval operation had ended.
Dela Cruz said for those joining the retrieval operation, the ICRC would be providing them with masks, suits and boots for personal protection; and cadaver bags and other equipment they would be needing.
During Tuesday’s simulated training held at the provincial capitol here, the retrieval teams were taught on how to properly use the equipment that would be provided them and how to properly handle cadavers.
Dela Cruz said though that the half-day training was only crash course on managing and retrieving cadavers, some of whom might not even be identifiable already, but it would surely help preserve the bodies and the places they might be found in.
“This is a very meticulous process and we needed to preserve the cadavers to establish their identities later on,” she said.
Dela Cruz said the retrieval of the cadavers would also give their families a chance to “pay their respects to their slain relatives.”
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