DFEMS honors 24 firefighters


Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Commissioner Clyde K. Norita announces this year’s DFEMS awardees during a public service recognition week ceremony held at DFEMS building in Garapan yesterday. Seated, with their back to the camera, are, from right, Senate President Arnold Palacios, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, and House Speaker Rafael Demapan. Ferdie De La Torre)

The Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services recognized 24 firefighters yesterday during a public service recognition ceremony at the DFEMS building in Susupe.

Commissioner Clyde Norita named the awardees, while Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres handed them plaques of recognition.

Fire Lt. Jesus T. Taitano Jr. and Fire Lt. John T. Blas were also presented with leadership awards. Fire Capt. Paul B. Sasamoto was recognized for 15 years of service.

Torres said the Commonwealth has seen the

department grow. In fact, one of the bills that he authored when he was still a senator was to divide Fire and the Department of Public Safety.

“Now we have a full force Fire Department and I’m very happy and proud of all its success,” Torres said.

The governor recounted that Norita pushed hard to have the department fully equipped and to have all employees properly trained.

“I feel very blessed that the CNMI is really protected when you call 911 or any other issue pertaining to our Fire Department,” he said.

Norita said the job itself of being a firefighter and a police officer requires commitment.

“It’s unappreciated, dangerous job in the Commonwealth compared to other states and territories as the salary way back was low,” he said.

In the past three years, though, with the budget reallocation and new pay scales, these measures help retain good employees and attract new ones.

The employees of the year awardees were Firefighter II Abraham S. Quitugua, Alpha Company Division; FF III Justin Mizutani Jr., Bravo Company Division; FFIII Albert Lee T. Aldan, Charlie Company Division; FFIII Derek B. Gersonde, Office of the Commissioner; FFIII Clinton O. Ngiraked, training division; FFIII Christino I. George, fleet and facility division; FFIII Christine S. Fungkugub, Data Division; FFIII Argernon A. Flores, administrative division; FFI Nipighiyong T. Laniyo, enforcement division; and FFIII Patrick I. George, grants division.

For 10 years of service, the awardees were FFIIIs Albert Lee T. Aldan, Joaquin T. Camacho, Robert P. Camacho, Robert C. Cruz, Gary S. Cruz, Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero, Maynard S. Duenas, Christine S. Fungkugub, Alejandrof M. King, Richard D. Manalo, Benjamin Paul T. Manglona, Ralph L. Magofna, Linus Mizutani Jr., and Vincent F. Sablan.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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