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Major milestone for fire department

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - Fresh off celebrating Fire Prevention Week, the Guam Fire Department has yet another reason to celebrate after receiving good news from the feds. They applied for it in February and according to Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas they got the good news today. "The Guam Fire Department is happy to announce that we received our full approval of our Medicare and Medicaid insurances," the chief said.

According to Captain Darren Burrier, who led the process, it was a long road to get to this point. He said, "We finally have come to the realization of being able to bill for Medicare billings when we do our ambulance transports and with that we are able to transport the people that have Medicare and Medicaid insurance."

It's a source of revenue that GFD never had before, as San Nicolas said, "Today's announcement means the fire department will see about $160,000 in revenue which all goes into its FLAME Fund. The fire department will then begin using this revenue to purchase more equipment and supplies."

According to GFD, the approval occurred with the support and help from Adelup and Republican congressman Tom Petri of Wisconsin. Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio says today's announcement is significant, telling KUAM News, "So in the future there going to be, you know, some increase in revenue of course and that means more supplies quicker response the ability for them to train to get the supplies and parts for the ambulance and ultimately to reduce their dependency on the general fund which will benefit all the people of Guam."

Likewise, Governor Eddie Calvo applauds Tenorio and the Guam Fire Department for their ingenuity during these challenging times. "In these very difficult times these financial times for our island as we try to find ways how do we get out of this major deficit that we're in at the same time findings ways improve the quality of services its innovative ways such as this.

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