DFEMS buys 2 new ambulances for Saipan
The Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services has acquired two new ambulances, bringing to five the number of ambulances on Saipan.
The new vehicles will each be assigned at the Garapan and Koblerville fire stations.
At a blessing ceremony at the Garapan fire station yesterday, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres congratulated DFEMS Commissioner Claudio K. Norita for bringing the vehicles to the island.
“Now we will be able to provide faster services. We will also be looking for more ways to get more new ambulances and new police vehicles for our community,” Torres said.
The governor said there will be a fire academy on Saipan in August and also next year.
“So we would like to encourage young men and women to partake of this…opportunity to serve our community,” Torres said.
He said the ambulances cost $132,000 each.
Norita said their last purchase of an ambulance was five years ago.
Norita said they had acquired a grant for $150,000 to purchase just one ambulance. Working with Procurement and Supply and the Office of the Attorney General, Norita said the lowest bid that they found for an ambulance was $79,000. For the two ambulances, it would cost $159,000.
Norita said they went to Torres, who gave them $9,000 in Compact Impact money so they can buy two ambulances with the grant.
Norita disclosed that Torres also gave them the $18,000 to ship those ambulances from California to Saipan.
As to why DFEMS did not buy from the islands, Norita said these ambulances are specialized vehicles and not regular pickups or sedans.
With the two, Saipan now has five ambulances. One will be assigned at the Garapan fire station, while the other will be at the Koblerville fire station.
The old ambulance at Garapan will be turned over to the Kagman fire station. One ambulance will be in reserve to be used for events like July 4, XTERRA, Tagaman, and other community events.
“We have about 22 ambulance runs a day on Saipan. Koblerville station bears the brunt of it…more than half of the runs,” Norita said.
There are two ambulances on Rota and also two on Tinian.