Fire stations in Dededo, Piti could shut down Sunday - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Fire stations in Dededo, Piti could shut down Sunday

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Accused of a furlough fakeout, the Calvo Administration maintains there's no faking anything and today upped the ante as the acting fire chief led a press conference at Adelup to announce effective Sunday his agency will implement a series of austerity measures that will impact their ability to provide services the public is entitled to.

Here's what's being cut in 48 hours:

-The Piti and Astumbo Fire Stations will close

-GFD will combine two advanced life support units

-The Dededo Fire truck and Rescue 1 unit will merge

-The Rescue Fire Truck and Rescue Unit will reduce from four to three

- the Fire Code Enforcement Bureau will see a reduction in their schedule

The Guam Fire Department's ability to provide life-saving, emergency medical services will be diminished. And two fire stations, one in Piti and another in Astumbo, Dededo, will be shut down Sunday if the legislature fails to take immediate action on the governor's proposed tax hike. That was the announcement by GFD Chief Joey San Nicolas in a news conference Friday at Adelup.

"We are now facing a situation that has given me no choice but to degrade our ability to meet our mission mandates which could ultimately lead to the loss of life, or at the very least, lessen our community's confidence that life-saving measures are available," said the chief.

This because San Nicolas says he needs to slash $200,000 in monthly overtime to meet Governor Eddie Calvo's order for a 10% cut in line agency budgets. Calvo has been pushing for a tax hike to make up for a $67 million revenue shortfall due to federal tax reforms.

San Nicolas says it's a question of cash management that needs to be addressed now, and not later, adding, "So these measures, as extreme as they are and as immediate that they need to happen, is intended to save us from shutting down all stations towards the end of this fiscal year."

But it will have an immediate and significant impact on GFD's response capabilities by altering the carefully considered equation of population size, time and distance. San Nicolas says all agencies are subject to the same budget cuts, and even an essential one such as the fire department cannot be spared. And he refutes speculation that GFD is being singled out to send a message to the legislature.

"It's a life saving service," he emphasized. "I'm doing everything in my power, 'cause otherwise I would not be able to sleep good at night, and none of you should be able to sleep good at night knowing that we have to shut down a fire station.

"Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen: this is not a show. I will shut down those stations as directed."

The deadline is 8am Sunday. 

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