Ambulances were running low on oxygen - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ambulances were running low on oxygen

Posted: Updated:

by Nick Delgado

Guam - After years of having problems with a shortage of ambulances, it seems the Guam Fire Department now has more issues to deal with as they are behind in making sure they have oxygen tanks.  

Concerns have been raised from GFD personnel about the lack of equipment at the fire stations, but this time the concern is that they ran out of oxygen in the tanks of the medics at the Dededo Fire Station. GFD Spokesperson Joey San Nicolas explained the problem, saying, "This is the change over for the fiscal year and as the new fiscal year starts we closed out the old [purchase order], which had until September 30.  And we did do our standard refill in preparation, however, it was a rather busy weekend for us and yesterday we realized the exact urgency."

San Nicolas says the units have been forced to use a backup supply, as well as share with units that were completely out of oxygen.  It makes for an issue that has most in the community, including Reuben Olivas, worried.  "I don't think there's a day in the Guam Fire Department that doesn't administer to people in need experiencing medical emergencies, so it's very important," he said.

There are currently six medics up and running for the entire island and Olivas says it is crucial that each one be fully equipped with oxygen tanks.  "They're very important...if they weren't important we wouldn't have them on the ambulances to begin with.  They're part of our emergency medical protocols. As you know, oxygen is basic element to sustain life - without oxygen we would cease to exist we would die."

Late this afternoon San Nicolas said the purchase orders totaling an amount of $10,000 has been opened in order for the tanks to be refilled. He is optimistic that they will have each medic operating with the adequate amount of tanks needed.  "As of this time, the PO has been opened and I believe a copy of the PO is being sent to the vendor and we'll be able to refill our spare oxygen tanks," he stated.

"At no time was the public at any type of risk," he clarified.  "We did make moves to cross-load all out units to make sure that we do have adequate oxygen in all our units."

Olivas says that the department usually has things in order and should never be threatened by a shortage of oxygen tanks for the medics.  "It's not really common for us to be without oxygen on the ambulances," he said frankly. "It's uncommon, and I can see how this could happen between one budget year to the next budget year but in the past we've been able to bridge that gap."

He added, "I think any citizen should be concerned about that.  Our protocols do dictate that say, for instance, if you have a shortness of breath or have a medical emergency and you couldn't or say somebody sustained a heart attack or had a stroke we would have to administer oxygen."

Late this afternoon San Nicolas told KUAM News that the purchase orders have all been completed and the districts were instructed to refill their oxygen tanks.  The $10,000 refill should last for about two months.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Derrick Baza Hills back in court for theft

    Derrick Baza Hills back in court for theft

    Back in court - this time, for theft charges. A violation notice was filed in the District Court of Guam against Derrick Baza Hills. Back in December 2017, the former senatorial and Agat vice mayoral candidate reportedly stole less than $100 worth of items from the Navy Exchange. He already faces several other charges involving prescription drugs and theft in the local court. He'll make his first appearance in federal court on March 6.More >>
    Back in court - this time, for theft charges. A violation notice was filed in the District Court of Guam against Derrick Baza Hills. Back in December 2017, the former senatorial and Agat vice mayoral candidate reportedly stole less than $100 worth of items from the Navy Exchange. He already faces several other charges involving prescription drugs and theft in the local court. He'll make his first appearance in federal court on March 6.More >>
  • Dededo students march for world peace

    Dededo students march for world peace

    Rain or Shine, these Roadrunners want World Peace. Benavente Middle School hosted their 8th annual March for Peace Thursday morning. Students, along with Superintendent and members of the Board, marched to Maria Ulloa and Wettengel Elementary, with signs promoting peace. Principal Patrick Egrubay said, "Peace is something that each of us should strive for, especially more recently we know that there's tragedy that's going on across the country and around the world, we want our s...More >>
    Rain or Shine, these Roadrunners want World Peace. Benavente Middle School hosted their 8th annual March for Peace Thursday morning. Students, along with Superintendent and members of the Board, marched to Maria Ulloa and Wettengel Elementary, with signs promoting peace. Principal Patrick Egrubay said, "Peace is something that each of us should strive for, especially more recently we know that there's tragedy that's going on across the country and around the world, we want our s...More >>
  • Bomb threat made to Guam High

    Bomb threat made to Guam High

    Guam High School and surrounding homes at Naval Hospital have been evacuated after a bomb threat is called in Thursday afternoon. The threat specifically targeted the school. GPD and Navy police are sweeping the area with K-9 units. The Naval Base Guam Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit is standing by in the event anything is found. Guam Homeland Security officials say all measures are being taken to ensure the safety of the public and first responders involved.

    More >>

    Guam High School and surrounding homes at Naval Hospital have been evacuated after a bomb threat is called in Thursday afternoon. The threat specifically targeted the school. GPD and Navy police are sweeping the area with K-9 units. The Naval Base Guam Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit is standing by in the event anything is found. Guam Homeland Security officials say all measures are being taken to ensure the safety of the public and first responders involved.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly