Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management, Edmond Castro conducted a tour and inspection of the Belize Civic Center facilities to examine how adequate it is to be used in case of a disaster. Castro told the media that it will be used to house the hospital.
Edmond Castro – Minister of Transport & NEMO: “It is the first time that we have a facility in the country that can evacuate the entire Institution: the KHMH and the others Medical associates and so that we could bring them here and fully function. You will be able to conduct emergency surgery, you will be able to operate as a full fledged hospital: child birth, child delivery, this and that so I think that for the first time we have a facility that the medical people from KHMH, The Matrons, the CEO find that is best suited for that kind of thing. We don’t have nothing else in this country that can provide the AC facility, the electricity generation that we need so I think this is best for emergency purposes. I think it is a multi-facility building, it can deal with the Security Forces, it can deal with the hospitals and also in extreme emergencies and we have to house some people, we can house up to maybe 15,000 people.”
CEMO was also a part of today’s tour; CEMO had expressed the desire to use the Civic as its emergency operations center. Castro commented on the likelihood of that happening.
Edmond Castro – Minister of Transport & NEMO: “CEMO falls under NEMO and actually with over two or three thousand people here we will have to have some kind of command center. It might be the best suited for to be used strictly for an EOC. I think it is best suited for the most vulnerable. Those who are in hospitals, people who are giving and going through child birth and Asthma and the whole emergency operation so I think It’s best suited for that and also to have the security forces housed here and we will see where this takes us and we will try to work with CEMO and see how best we can resolve the situation but we are people first. We want to make sure we take care of those who can’t take care of themselves first and then we worry about the others.”
Janelle McKenzie: So for the record you will not have CEMO here?
Edmond Castro – Minister of Transport & NEMO: “No I did not say that at all, I said we will work together but the most important thing in an emergency is to save lives and to take care of those people in the hospital and those people who are most vulnerable so I think we might have to have some kind of combination of a small ECO combination of the security forces and some type of command control.”
The security forces will also be housed at the Civic.