The Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management, Edmond Castro, received a donation of a firetruck for the Corozal District. The donation was given by Calgary Firefighters’ Association, through the Calgary Fire Department in Alberta, Canada. National Fire Chief Colin Gillett and Corozal Officer in Charge, Kevin Williams received the truck on behalf of the Fire Service. CEO in the Ministry of Transport, Ruth Meighan, was also present at the handing over. Today when we spoke to Gillett, he addressed the concern that the truck received was one that the Calgary Fire Department had already retired.
Colin Gillett, Fire Chief, Belize National Fire Service: “These trucks that the Calgary Fire Department is retiring they have not a lot of miles and they are serviced before we actually get them. So we are very thankful to them for donating this one. They have indicated that they have another ten that we are looking at buying so that we can change out all of the older ones that we have all around the country. That one is just one, we’re hoping to get another three by next year and go from there. Across there we just got another donation from the Fire Fighters Without Borders and that one is actually in rotation right now. The good thing about these trucks is that we can get parts for these right here in the US. The other trucks that they use to get like the Volvos those come from a lot further so those are the ones that take a lot longer so we’re trying to phase those trucks out to get more that we can actually get the parts for in a short amount of time and actually start to look at the type of trucks that we’re using because one of the things that we’re trying to push or understand is when you look at the data 90% of the fires that we respond to are bush fires; these are not bush trucks. There are actually bush trucks that we are supposed to be using for that so we’re trying to specialize our trucks so that it’s not a one size fits all. As soon as these trucks come off the road there are issues because they’re so heavy and they don’t have four wheel drive, they’re not made for that.”
The newly acquired fire truck is a 2000 model and has seating for 7 fire fighters.