Guam – Several ambulances will be back on Guam’s roads within days. Money to pay for much-needed repairs to ambulances has been given to the Guam Fire Department. $200,000 was released today from the Department of Public Works’ Public Safety Highway Bond.
“This came as great news after my meeting on Public Safety today,” said Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio, who oversees Public Safety for the island. “I have been working with GFD for the past three weeks to secure funding for the ambulances and now we can move forward,” he said.
The $200,000 will be used to repair eight ambulances which currently need maintenance work ranging from tire to engine repairs. Six ambulances are expected to be operational within days, and up to ten ambulances will be fully functional after the repairs are made.
“I take this matter very seriously,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. “When you need an ambulance, every second counts. This money will make sure help is there when you are most vulnerable. These types of collaborative solutions will continue throughout our government, so our people receive the services they deserve.”
There has been a severe ambulance shortage since the beginning of the year. Several ambulances have been inoperable, while GFD did not have the money to repair the vehicles. Lt. Governor Tenorio has been working with GFD and the government’s financial agencies to fix the situation. Two ambulances are currently serving the island while 13 are down and in dire need of repair. According to GFD spokesman Captain Andy Arceo, ideally six to eight ambulances are needed to serve the island.
The $200,000 comes from the Highway Safety Bond. It is cash in the bank, which could not be spent until a memorandum of understanding was executed between DPW and GFD. This required an extensive review process of the MOU and a number of signatories, including DPW, Department of Administration, the Attorney General and the Governor. Lt. Governor Tenorio personally walked the MOU through the parties in order to expedite the MOU and provide the funds to GFD. The MOU now is in effect, and DOA will be releasing the revenues to GFD to repair the ambulances.
“I appreciate the help from the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor for ensuring completion of the MOU,” said acting Fire Chief John Salas. “What we’re working on now is getting these ambulance out as soon as we can.”