DFEMS to reinforce fire lane codes anew

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Fire lane enforcement is expected to make a comeback as Saipan continues to recover from Super Typhoon Yutu. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services will return to the strict enforcement of fire lane codes nearly three months after Super Typhoon Yutu.

According to DFEMS Commissioner Clyde Norrita, almost all of DFEMS’ personnel were assigned to assist in Super Typhoon Yutu recovery efforts and fire lane code enforcement was not the priority for the first few months post-Yutu.

“We never suspended the fire lanes…it’s just that all of our people were assigned to the typhoon operations and the fire lane enforcement is done by a specific group of officers or firefighters…we had to switch our priorities and recovery and serving our people was the utmost in the typhoon recovery. But as things start to calm down, recovery is really in full motion…we got a lot of help from our DOD [Department of Defense] and our FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] partners,” Norrita said.

However, since recovery has been successful and the CNMI has been nearly restored to normalcy, DFEMS personnel will be reassigned to their respective duties prior to Super Typhoon Yutu and full-force fire lane enforcement is to be expected.

“Of course, as we start to release our people from the typhoon operations, and they go back to fire operations, we expect that all those things will start to come up,” he said

Norrita said that just three weeks ago, fire code investigators were released from typhoon recovery efforts and were re-assigned to their respective duties.

“Three weeks ago, we reassigned our fire code investigators back to fire so they can start to work with the companies and individual residents who are rebuilding their houses and to be in compliance and so forth,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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