Aibonito – Some 18 ambulances were delivered today, Thursday, to eight regions of the island after being acquired with funds from the 9-1-1 Emergency System Bureau at a cost of $ 2.2 million, announced the governor Pedro Pierluisi.
“In an emergency, the government’s response must be immediate and effective because that is where we can make a difference and save lives. To act diligently it is necessary for our first responders to have the equipment they require, ”Pierluisi said.
“This delivery of 18 ambulances is the beginning of what our administration wants to continue multiplying. That is why we will be working and identifying resources to be able to continue providing the necessary tools to attend to emergencies, ”he added at a press conference in the parking lot near the Aibonito Police Headquarters.
The governor specified that the ambulances were purchased last December. He stressed that, As part of the first 100 days of his administration, he hopes to reduce the response time of the 9-1-1 Emergency System to just 10 minutes.
Right now, he said, the response time is 15 to 18 minutes. He indicated that upon arrival at the government, the waiting time was 24 to 27 minutes.
Pierluisi said the goal is to reduce response time to 10 minutes before 100 days of administration.
The ambulances will be distributed in the regions of Arecibo, Carolina, Ponce, Mayagüez, Aguadilla, Caguas, Humacao and Fajardo. The ambulances have a special stretcher for patients, an evacuation chair that supports 500 pounds, safety equipment to transport minors and defibrillators.
The delivery of the ambulances joins some 118 units owned by the Emergency Corps Bureau, said Commissioner José A. Colón Grau. “We have a plan to replace at least 70% of these ambulances before September,” said the official.
Present at the press conference were, in addition to the mayor of Aibonito, William Alicea, the mayor of Las Marías, Edwin Soto; that of Jayuya, Jorge González, that of Camuy, Gabriel Hernández and that of Cabo Rojo, Jorge Morales.
Pierluisi acknowledged that to further improve the functioning of the Bureau of the Medical Emergency Corps, more staff is needed. He said that this requires a larger budget, which is being worked on with the Fiscal Oversight Board when the draft budget is submitted this coming February 2.
“But this, from the delivery of the ambulances, helps,” Pierluisi said in what is her first visit to a municipality after swearing in as governor on January 2.
When inspecting the ambulances, Pierluisi did not hesitate to use the megaphone of one of them.
“Up the Bureau of Medical Emergencies. Now we are really high. We are armored ”, he was heard to say.