The Federal Emergency Management Agency has purchased four new ambulances for the CNMI Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. The vehicles are expected to arrive in 2019.
During the annual Western Pacific Islands Association Fire Chief conference at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan yesterday, Clyde Norita, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services commissioner, said that, despite the destruction Super Typhoon Yutu, wrought on the CNMI, it also served as a blessing in disguise for DFEMS.
“This Yutu typhoon might have been a blessing in disguise. …FEMA has bought the fire department four new ambulances…three for Saipan and one for Tinian because their ambulance went down during the typhoon,” he said.
According to Norita, the company making the ambulances went into production in November and the new vehicles are expected to arrive in early 2019.
“I was informed by FEMA that the ambulances went into production on Nov. 20 and they should be here by the end of January or early February,” he said.
FEMA did not just purchase four brand new ambulance units for the CNMI, but hand radios as well.
“FEMA has also bought the department 40 new radios. We only had 20 radios and they are over 15 years old,” Norita said.
He said the department is grateful that FEMA saw the need in the CNMI and filled the need.
Norita said that aside from the new ambulance units, the department is also expecting two new fire trucks capable of storing up to 1,000 gallons of water.
“We just signed the contract for two new…1,000-gallon, four-door pumper trucks. …Production time is about 280 days,” he said.