The Belize Coastguard has been growing since it was created to patrol our seas in 2005. The base of the Belize Coast Guard Service at mile 4 on the George Price Highway was built with the assistance from the US southern command. Today the US Embassy donated an ambulance and equipment to further strengthen the coastguard’s capabilities. Captain Elton Bennett, Vice Commandant of the Coastguard explained how they intend to utilize the gift.
Captain Elton Bennett Vice Commandant Belize Coast Guard: “Today we received by donation an ambulance from the US State Department in Belize. It was donated through the Foreign Military Fund. That is where we get access to military equipment. It is more than just a vehicle for us. It is that ambulance service that plays a very important part of our entire medical system. We are growing and developing our medical capabilities and we currently have a small medical team at Coast Guard Headquarters but also full time medics up in Price Barracks who are developing experience and learning to deal with those emergency medical situations. In addition we do have medics that are trained outside the US and in Mexico to help us to develop that second phase of responding to medical situations. Quite often we would have casualties from search and rescue cases out at sea which we need to get them to KHMH or a medical facility on land and that transfer from time to time could be challenging. With this ambulance now we are able to receive that patient from the vessel and continue to treat them and as a matter of fact at an even higher level of treatment because the ambulance is equipped with trauma equipment so we can stabilize and transfer patient from vessel to the doors of the hospital so that is very important for us as Coast Guard. This was a request that we made to the US State Department and the equipment included: trauma kits, oxygens valves and all the equipment that is required in the cab of the ambulance to stabilize casualties when they are being transported. What you are seeing in the spare boxes is spare mechanical equipment and technical medical equipment to support the ambulance.”
The initiative started a few years ago under former US Ambassador to Belize Carlos Moreno. The handing over of the ambulanec and equipment was done by US Chargé d’Affaires Keith R. Gilges.