AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT
September 22, 2016
AMBULANCES DONATED TO LOCAL EMS
A ceremony was held on September 22 to commemorate the delivery of 4 used ambulances and an emergency van which were donated by City and County of Honolulu to our local EMS to augment their existing vehicles. Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga spoke at the ceremony offering thanks to those who were instrumental in the receipt of these very useful vehicles. Special acknowledgements were made to Mayor Kirk Caldwell of the City and County of Honolulu, Governor Lolo M. Moliga, Lt. Governor Lemanu P. Mauga, Paramount Builders (Papalii Laulii Alofa), Matson Shipping & local partner Molida Shipping Agency (Moeipologa John Pereira), LBJTMC Board, EMS staff, Taufetee John Faumuina (CEO LBJTMC), Rev. Filifaatali Mike Fuiava (Board Chair LBJTMC), Galumalemana Fuapopo Avegalio (Chief of EMS), Emergency Medical Services Staff.
In an interview after the ceremony, EMS Chief Avegalio noted that it was also important to give recognition and thanks to the Hawaii Heart Association, a non-profit organization that acted as an official conduit for the donation of the five ambulance vehicles. The EMS Chief explained that Honolulu City and County turned the vehicles over in good condition to the Hawaii Heart Association, who then donated them to American Samoa. This path of delivery, via a non-profit entity, avoided some extra international conditions that a “state to state” transfer would entail. “This allowed for a more timely receipt of the vehicles,” added EMS Chief Avegalio, “just in time for the approaching hurricane season”. "The ambulance units donated are worth over $200,000 dollars each so the five vehicles together are valued at over a half million dollars” Chief Avegalio said. "We are very fortunate because now the EMS is better equipped to respond to emergencies in the Territory.