Being the first responder to any emergency in the CNMI, the Department of Public Safety is now equipped with fire extinguishers that police officers could use.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services donated a total of 40 fire extinguishers to DPS, with the initial donation made last Dec. 28, 2017, and recently, last Jan. 5, 2018.
Of the 40, a total of 30 would be distributed on Saipan, five would go to Tinian, and five would go to Rota.
According to DFEMS Commissioner Claudio Norita, the fire extinguishers will equip DPS with the necessary tool in their daily operations.
“The fire extinguishers are meant to be installed in their new patrol cars that they recently rolled out. This is a move by [DFEMS] to enable us to work with first responder partners like DPS, Patrol, and Traffic. In any 911 call, they [police officers] are really the first to respond and be at the scene,” he said. “Having this equipment or this tool will enable them to suppress and take care of the problem if it’s just a small fire. If it’s a bigger fire, [they] at least have the capability to contain the fire while bigger trucks respond to the fire scene. It is an essential tool and we are glad that our partnership with DPS is always there.”
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres was in attendance during the transfer. “We are here in full support of the transfers and having this kind of collaboration with the different departments where one department helps other departments goes a long way,” he said.
“Equipment like fire extinguishers are important tools in case of emergencies that you don’t know how important it is in case someone needs it. We appreciate all the efforts of DFEMS and DPS,” he added.
DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero said the fire extinguishers will not only assist the officers in suppressing fire when they arrive at the scene.
“It’s also a good safety device for the vehicles. We have instances where vehicles catch fire so we extend our thank you to DFEMS,” he said.
Attorney General Edward Manibusan said that in this exchange, it is ultimately the people of the Commonwealth who will greatly benefit.
Norita said that there has always been a good collaboration between DFEMS and DPS.
“When the DPS commissioner and I sat down a few months ago, we talked about issues on what our departments need. Budgeting is a problem but we still come together and work out ways on how to help each other. Continuous collaboration is key,” he said. “Next step is our [DFEMS] instructors will teach Patrol and Traffic officers how to use the fire extinguishers. Although it’s common sense, we require them to get certified and that takes just a couple of hours training.”