To welcome 2011 with a bang, UNTV CEO Daniel Razon launched the station’s News and Rescue Command Center.Quite different from the usual TV reporting, UNTV now incorporates rescue operations as part and parcel of its operations.
It is to be remembered that the idea of including rescue was first broached during the public service channel’s sixth year anniversary last July.
UNTV also deployed news and rescue mobile units for its massive emergency response operations during the peak of the New Year revelry.
The UNTV News and Rescue Command Center, together with the rescue mobile units, completes Razon’s advocacy that contemplates the combination of bolder news with rescue mission. This initiative is dubbed as Tulong Muna Bago Balita (Rescue First, Before News).
As another first in Philippine broadcast history, the UNTV News and Rescue Command Center has fulfilled Razon’s promise to come up with a Rescue 911-like hotline. Like the American version, hotline numbers are opened for rescue and medical services. However, unlike Rescue 911, the UNTV service is free of charge.
“It doesn’t matter if we come late in reporting if we come first in giving aid,” said Kuya Daniel in the vernacular during UNTV’s year-end special presentation.
Titled Panibagong Taon ng Pagkakawang-gawa, Panibagong Taon ng Pagbabalita, the special coverage was broadcast live from 9 p.m. of December 31 to 5 a.m., the next day. The theme embodied the station’s desire to render rescue and urgent assistance to people in need while making an all-out effort to deliver large-scale reportage.
In Metro Manila alone, 10 mobile units were deployed around its five districts, backed-up by Ang Dating Daan ambulances, to provide emergency assistance for various incidents like firecracker injuries.
UNTV reported that the 10 Rescue-and-News vehicles were equipped, not only with rescue gears and devices sufficient to administer immediate medical and safety needs, but also with portable video-over-cellular backpack solution for mobile broadcast called, Live U.
Meanwhile, rescue mobile units were also deployed at major points of Northern and Southern Philippines. UNTV also opened Clinic ni Kuya branches around the country.
Joining UNTV’s News and Rescue Team were the Search and Rescue Unit Foundation (SARUF) and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) headed by Gen. Nick Bartolome. SARUF is an army rescue unit in the Philippines that trained UNTV’s correspondents and staffs for emergency response.
The special presentation also featured blow-by-blow account of the headline-grabbing issues in 2010. UNTV correspondents from Australia, Japan, USA, and many other countries also provided live reports in their country’s celebration in welcoming 2011 as they happened.