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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

39 municipalities receive new ambulances; 10 towns join 9-1-1 system

The ambulances, acquired with $6.6 million in 9-1-1 Emergency System Bureau funds, will be delivered to 39 towns across the island. (Department of Public Safety/Facebook)

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Thursday delivered 39 equipped ambulances to be distributed in the same number of municipalities, and announced that 10 towns have been integrated into the 9-1-1 Emergency System.

The governor also announced that the delivery of 249 vehicles that are part of the Public Buildings Authority (AEP) fleet has begun, which will be vital for its personnel as they perform repairs of buildings, including schools as part of the School Impact program.

Regarding the delivery of ambulances, acquired with $6.6 million of the 9-1-1 Emergency System Bureau’s own funds, Pierluisi said in a written statement that “we continue to be extremely proactive in allocating available funds to continue improving and updating the equipment and vehicles we need to provide good service to our people, particularly when they need it most and have to call the 9-1-1 system, which is always available to assist them.”

He added that “in order to fulfill our mission of responding effectively, our officials must have the most modern and conducive resources to carry out their duties in an agile manner in times of emergency.”

The municipalities benefiting from the new ambulances are: Aguadilla, Arecibo, Barceloneta, Cabo Rojo, Camuy, Canóvanas, Ciales, Coamo, Corozal, Dorado, Fajardo, Florida, Guayama, Guayanilla, Gurabo, Guánica, Hormigueros, Humacao, Isabela, Juncos, Las Piedras, Loíza, Manatí, Naranjito, Orocovis, Río Grande, Patillas, Peñuelas, Sabana Grande, San Lorenzo, Santa Isabel, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa and Yauco.

Meanwhile, the municipalities that are joining the 9-1-1 System are Cabo Rojo, Utuado, Trujillo Alto, Peñuelas, Río Grande, Patillas, Aguadilla, Canóvanas, Isabela and Coamo. With those additions, the number of municipalities to which the emergency response system extends rises from 47 to 57, or 73% of all island towns.

Public Safety Secretary Alexis Torres Ríos said the delivery of the 39 ambulances “will strengthen the response capacity to medical emergencies in our municipalities.”

“It will provide peace of mind and security to our citizens knowing that they will receive timely and quality medical care at critical times,” he said.

Manuel González Azcuy, the commissioner of NSE-911, stressed that, “from day one, our commitment to the people of Puerto Rico and to the governor was and is to work tirelessly to, number one, reduce the response time. I’m happy to report that, when we arrived, it was between 26 and 28 minutes and today, it’s between 16 and 18 minutes.”

“But we continue to do our best to bring that time in line with that of the United States: between 9 and 11 minutes,” he said. “The second commitment was to increase the number of municipalities integrated into the 9-1-1 Emergency System, because in this way, in emergency situations, we directly contact the dispatchers in the municipalities that already know every corner of their respective municipalities, thus maximizing response time.”

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Eugene Saville
Eugene Saville

I live in the mountains of Arecibo, 2 days before Christmas 2023, a teenager tried to steal my vehicle at my home around 8 am, he was armed . I called 911 four (4) times to request police and each time I was clearly told they would NOT bring sending anyone without explanation. Fortunately I was able to defend myself and my wife but not after 3 straight hours . I notified local FBI and they finally pushed police to come. Once they arrived the assailant was not even handcuffed , he was placed in the police car. I ask the police about damages of property .I was instructed to come to the local station for a report. 4 months…

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