|Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that the U.S.
Forest Service and the Department of Interior have agreed to support his
efforts and initiative to help American Samoa address its public safety
I am pleased that the U.S. Forest Service has agreed to send our
Fire Department two Model 41 fire-trucks completely equipped with new hoses,
nozzles, hand tools and brand new tires. Each truck has an approximate
200-gallon capacity and can be hooked to hydrants, water tanks or draft
out of the ocean. According to the U.S. Forest Service, these 1-ton
pick-ups will make excellent support vehicles for our outlying villages,
Congressman Faleomavaega said.
I want to thank Dennis Orbus, Assistant Director for Fire and Aviation
Management for the Pacific Southwest Region, for assisting my office in
finding, funding and equipping these Model 41s. I also want to thank
his colleague, Rusty Witwer, for his support of our efforts, Congressman
In early November, the Commissioner of Public Safety informed my
office that the entire Western District of the Territory was without fire-trucks.
I brought the matter to the attention of the Governor and the Department
of Interior. The Department of Interior also informed my office that
the LBJ hospital had been cited for fire-code violations and would support
our efforts to secure emergency funding for the purchase of critically
needed fire-trucks, Congressman Faleomavaega said.
I then contacted the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region
for Fire and Aviation Management. The Pacific Southwest Region includes
California, Hawaii, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia,
Palau, CNMI, Guam, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Congressman
explained. This agency has a Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement
with its regional partners. Part of the program includes loaning
equipment to its regional partners. In our case, the Pacific Southwest
Region has agreed to loan American Samoa two Model 41s at no cost to the
local government. Although the local government will never own the
vehicles, the Model 41s are theirs to use for the life of the vehicle.
The trucks could have gone anywhere in the Region, but thanks to
our joint efforts and our emergency need, American Samoa is getting both,
Congressman Faleomavaega said. The Model 41s are in good mechanical
condition and each has less than 35,000 miles. If purchased new,
the Model 41s carry a combined retail value of more than $120,000.
For the Territory, they are free.
I would like to thank the Department of Interior for agreeing to
bear the costs of shipping these two vehicles. Both vehicles will
be shipped on March 15, 2001 and are scheduled to arrive in the Territory
by the 26th of March, Congressman Faleomavaega said.
I would also like to note that I have requested an additional $30,000