22 Jul 2011

Guam Fire Department uncertain on future of ambulances

1:54 pm on 22 July 2011

The Guam Fire Department, which oversees the territory's emergency services, is uncertain about the future of its ambulance fleet due to ongoing maintenance issues.

The Department has 14 vehicles but over the past few months the number of ambulances in operation has dropped at times to just two because of break-downs and wear and tear.

Its spokesman, Captain Andy Arceo says following some minor repairs, the Department now has six ambulances in operation but half the fleet's still out of action.

"Being on an island we are at the mercy of the mainland parts coming in. So what we are having a problem with is stocking the these items for these medics. We're limited in mechanical shops -there are hundreds of mechanical shops on Guam but the only ones that are capable of doing ambulance work narrows it down to maybe four shops. And they are not committed to the Department as far as prioritising the fixing of the medics [ambulances]."

Andy Arceo says the Guam Fire Department is also short on funds to pay for the repairs and replacement parts.