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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Legislator requests protocol for giving first responders priority on fuel

House Government Committee Chairman Jesús Manuel Ortiz

By The Star Staff

House Government Committee Chairman Jesús Manuel Ortiz asked Public Safety (DPS) Secretary Alexis Torres on Sunday to confirm the existence of a protocol that would allow first responders to perform their duties on the street but at the same time ensure that they have access to fuel on a priority basis.

Although he made the request for all first responders, the lawmaker pointed out the situation of thousands of police officers who, after 10- and 12-hour shifts, many times under the sun at intersections that have no traffic lights due to the lack of electricity, have to wait in long lines to access fuel for their vehicles or generators in their homes, due to the shortage and high demand for fuel caused by Hurricane Fiona.

“In emergency or disaster situations, such as the one currently being experienced in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona, it is important to have a uniform process that allows first responders to carry out their work, which is of vital importance to the people, but at the same time ensures access to necessities, such as fuel, quickly and efficiently,” Ortiz Gonzalez said in his letter to DPS. “This protocol should establish express service lines and priority shifts at all gas stations on the island.”

“The whole country is going through situations, but these first responders do not have the time to be able to meet their basic needs since most of the time they are working,” the legislator said. “Therefore, we want to know if the DPS has taken into account the needs of its employees and to confirm if there is such a protocol and if not, to establish a plan to put it into effect as soon as possible.”

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