It is sad to report that there were numerous times yesterday, Wednesday 16 Feb 2011, that our island was down to only being serviced by one ambulance. Now that is ridiculous! How can that be when public safety is one of the top 3 priorities?
Though $200,000 has just been released to help alleviate this problem, that is to repair some of our ambulances, what will this money really do? Will it really fix our situation? I don't think so. It will only serve as a band aid fix to a long standing problem. We need new ambulances. We need to procure ambulances on a regular schedule.
Guam is hard on ambulances. We have one of the most corrosive atmospheres on the planet. Everyone knows this. Our ambulances are subjected to very arduous service, constantly responding and transporting patients in heavy traffic and on harsh roadway conditions. Brake problems, fuel problems, electrical problems, transmission problems, starter problems, we've had them all. There is always something to blame.
We have bought and used every model of ambulance manufactured. The results are the same. They start to breakdown within 3 years. Their lifespan is 5 years maximum on the front line. We have seen this over and over again since the 1980s. The administration and the legislature know this.
If we can procure 3 ambulances every year, we could rotate a group of 15 ambulances within their 5 year lifespan and maintain a fleet capable of properly servicing our island. The second line fleet can then be refurbished and used for back up, non emergency functions and training.
We can do this if we practice what we preach. That is the safety of our public is truly a priority. Our residents deserve more than just one ambulance.
Until next time....