Palacios questions delay in GFD program - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Palacios questions delay in GFD program

Posted: Updated:

by Nick Delgado

Guam - Despite a pair of roundtable hearings with the Guam Fire Department, Public Safety Oversight Chair Senator Adolpho Palacios still wants answers from Fire Chief John Salas. This time the senator wants to know why a law passed nearly a decade ago to help with GFD's personnel shortage has yet to be followed.

"The law is there and the authority is there," said Palacios. And still the concern remains that even planning for the Guam Fire Department's Community Firefighter Reserve Program has not yet kicked-off. He sent a letter to Acting Fire Chief John Salas questioning him on the matter as to why his agency failed to even begin the process of implementing the program by drafting the rules and regulations. 

"I cannot implement the program even if I were to develop the rules and regulations and adopt it, so he has those mechanisms. He's the one who is going to use it, not me," Palacios noted. "In light of the shortage that they say that they have and I know that they are short of staff and the uniformed officer in the Administration Building, I believe this program can fill in some of these needs."

However, GFD Spokesperson Captain Andy Arceo admits the agency just doesn't have the money. "It's a fantastic program," he told KUAM News. "Unfortunately, we won't be able to implement it due to the fact that we don't have money. The law states we must provide them with equipment and training. And we don't have the money to provide them equipment and or the training."

Palacios says the program would be similar to the community policing assisting effort at the Guam Police Department. It was during the 27th Guam Legislature that the program was signed into law, however GFD officials confirm that the program was just never budgeted for and now seven years later no request was ever made.

Palacios says the extra help from the community would not only resolve the shortage in the stations, but also help at headquarters, so the uniformed personnel, Palacios says, can instead be placed out in the field. Arceo says the will make the effort to hopefully begin the program next fiscal year.

"When we go before the senators this year for our budget request all of those items are going to be included, we'll just throw it out there this how much we are going to need not just to implement this program but every program that we would like to implement to include getting equipment and vehicles for our fleets," he said.

If the reserve program is implemented, Arceo says they would have to request an estimate of up to $1,200 annually to purchase gear for each volunteer. The law would also allow for a $50 stipend, which GFD would have to budget for as well.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • THINK PINK DAY at KUAM

    THINK PINK DAY at KUAM

    Today, the stations of KUAM will celebrate our  annual Think Pink Day in commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

    More >>

    Today, the stations of KUAM will celebrate our  annual Think Pink Day in commemoration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

    More >>
  • DOE schools in session, storm will pass SE of Guam today

    DOE schools in session, storm will pass SE of Guam today

    Tropical Depression 27W is now a Tropical Storm. Guam and Rota  remain under a Tropical Storm Watch. It is tracking to pass southwest of Guam sometime today.  Maximum sustained winds are at 45mph.  Guam remains under a Small Craft and High Surf Advisory.  Storm shelters are now open at the Yigo Gym, Agana Heights Gym, and Talofofo Gym. Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez announced via twitter that there WILL BE classes today for public schools.More >>
    Tropical Depression 27W is now a Tropical Storm. Guam and Rota  remain under a Tropical Storm Watch. It is tracking to pass southwest of Guam sometime today.  Maximum sustained winds are at 45mph.  Guam remains under a Small Craft and High Surf Advisory.  Storm shelters are now open at the Yigo Gym, Agana Heights Gym, and Talofofo Gym. Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez announced via twitter that there WILL BE classes today for public schools.More >>
  • Guam in COR4, but storm shelters opening at 11pm

    Guam in COR4, but storm shelters opening at 11pm

    Although Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 4, GovGuam will be opening emergency shelters for those who might need them beginning at 11 o'clock tonight.  The shelters are located at the Yigo Gym, Agana Heights Gym and Talofofo Gym.

    More >>

    Although Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 4, GovGuam will be opening emergency shelters for those who might need them beginning at 11 o'clock tonight.  The shelters are located at the Yigo Gym, Agana Heights Gym and Talofofo Gym.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly