Futenma, Ginowan sign first-responder pact
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Okinawa, Japan -- Col. James G. Flynn met with Atsushi Sakima, the mayor of Ginowan City, Aug. 23, to sign a mutual agreement allowing emergency vehicles from the city to pass through Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to facilitate faster emergency response times.
The agreement allows emergency services a more direct route to areas of the city during an emergency or natural disaster.
"I think it's important in particular for the residents of Ginowan City in that it will allow emergency services such as ambulances, the fire department and the police department to use a route through Futenma to respond to an emergency quicker than having to go around," said Flynn, the commanding officer of MCAS Futenma.
The agreement shows mutual respect between MCAS Futenma and the surrounding city of Ginowan because it holds the safety of everyone in the area above all else.
According to Sakima, the agreement is key in building a trusting relationship with MCAS Futenma.
This agreement reinforces the fact that both American and Japanese people all inhabit the same area and should be striving to make decisions that have the best interests of all in mind, according to Flynn.
"It shows that we are good neighbors, we are all here living together, we have shared interests and common goals," said Flynn. "I'm very excited. I think this is an agreement that serves as the first step for future agreements, that we are currently working on with the city."
Both Flynn and Sakima are excited to have signed the agreement because it increases their level of cooperation, ultimately helping both those who live inside and outside the gates of MCAS Futenma.
"It is important to negotiate when any challenges or issues come up," said Sakima. "If there is the possibility for cooperation, I would love to work with (MCAS Futenma)."
"I think (the agreement) shows a level of coordination and effort to work together on common issues, which is the overall goal," said Flynn.