The Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services received yesterday its largest batch of fire-resistant PPEs, or Personal Protective Equipment, that was funded through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp.’s Community Development Block Grant, CDBG, program.
NMHC officially turned over yesterday to DFEMS 158 sets of head-to-toe PPEs. Gov. Ralph DLG Torres was also present for the unveiling of the PPEs.
According to Zenie Mafnas, NMHC deputy corporate director, the total grant application for the PPEs was about $644,000 for 158 sets.
“DFEMS has been very diligent in submitting proposals almost every year. Since 2007 to date, we’ve granted DFEMS about $2.5 million. The PPEs are a mixture of program year 2020-2021 funding. We just ask that DFEMS distribute these PPEs to all three islands for all firefighters,” she said.
In a statement from Fire Capt. Jayendran Jairam, DFEMS Logistics Division officer in charge, he shared how grateful DFEMS was for the PPEs, which he said is the largest batch DFEMS has received by far.
Of the 158 sets, about 24 sets of PPEs will be given to Tinian and about 22 sets will be distributed to Rota, he added.
“We just want to say that we appreciate this allocation from the bottom of our hearts as this was the largest batch of PPE that was given to us by NMHC and we are very grateful and thankful for their assistance. Now we have head-to-toe PPEs, which gives us the protection we need to respond to any burning building at any given time to protect property and save lives. They’ve assisted us with our wildland truck, fire pumper truck, and ambulances for the past 15 years but this is by far the largest allocation from CDBG,” he said.
Torres said it’s always nice to give CNMI front-liners new equipment. “These equipment will protect them from fire, and ultimately help them provide the best service to their community. Congratulations to DFEMS, they took the initiative to apply for this CDBG-DR grant. Congratulation,” he said.
Torres added that it is, and will always be, the administration’s priority to support front-liners like DFEMS and Department of Public Safety.
“We don’t just say that and not back it up. We’ve given DPS new vehicles and new equipment, as well as DFEMS. DFEMS also got new fire trucks a few years ago, and then now new equipment. As you know, not just during the pandemic, but with every disaster that we have faced, our front-liners are always the first ones there. They give hope to our community for public safety. So it is important for us to take care of all of them so they know that the administration will continue to support them in not just equipment but as well as with their salaries. At the end of the day, the more we take care of our front-liners, the better it is for all of us,” he said.