by Nick Delgado
Guam - The governor's fiscal team met with the Guam Fire Department today to discuss what can be done to resolve the ongoing shortage of ambulances on the island. Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. requested that Governor Eddie Calvo declare a state of emergency so that funds could be transferred to repair the fleet.
Governor's deputy press secretary Phill Leon Guerrero says they are working with the freshman senator to overcome this severe situation. "The Administration is working with DOA and DPW so we can try to find solutions as to how we are going to pay for these repairs. When both Governor Calvo and Lieutenant Governor Tenorio were senators that really was the bottleneck as to how we were going to pay for the repairs of these ambulances so that's what we are working on identifying right now," he explained.
Currently there are only four operable ambulances for the entire island.
In the meantime, GFD spokesperson Captain Andy Arceo says they are hoping to have the medic billing system in place by April. He says they will be meeting with an off-island vendor to discuss the specifics. It's important the billing system is in place, as GFD plans to use the funds for repairs, but Arceo says the issue has hit several snags over the years.
"Government wide there is no money anywhere and this has been a long process that's been coming, we're just actually making all the contacts to facilitate this happening basically from a revenue standpoint," he said.
He adds that GFD will be presenting its proposal to raise the ambulance fees to public safety chair Senator Adolpho Palacios on February 15.