The Belize Coast Guard (BCG) is one of the arms of the Ministry of National Security, tasked with safe guarding Belize’s waters. As part of the COVID-19 relief measures, they have been keeping borders secured and maintaining a presence out at sea. However, the men and women of the Coast Guard also need to keep themselves safe from the deadly virus. Commandant of the BCG, Captain Elton Bennett, spoke to Love News on how they have been operating under the present circumstances.
Cpt. Elton Bennett, Commander, Belize Coast Guard: “One of the huge responsibility that I have as commandant is to ensure that the men and women of the Belize Coast guard are protected, protected when they’re out on the front line doing their duties so having the necessary personal protective equipment is crucial. All of our deployments are prepared to interact with anyone that they come across they have their masks, their gloves and they understand exactly what social distancing means, we understand how we’re going to board the vessel and maintain that distance so that’s a big part of what we’re doing with the Belize Coast Guard. It goes beyond that I have to ensure not only the Coast Guard man but he comes back at work and then he goes home so I have to consider the families as well so we have a process where whenever you come back from sea you go through a decontamination to ensure that you’re not taking that virus from here to home because the Coast Guard man taking the virus at home would be something very bad for the organization and for the individual family. In addition to that we also need to bear in mind that those communities such as Barranco, Caye Caulker or Sarteneja that we’re the only ones that were transiting in and out have the high potential of taking the virus in there so we had a very challenging time to ensure that our men and women are kept free of the virus but also that they did not take the virus into one of the communities that we serve. We have the regular masks we also have N95 masks donated to us by the Global Leadership Summit and the full medical suit that the Coast Guard medics would be using whenever the Coast Guard man becomes the casualty.”
We will have more on what the BCG has been doing to keep Belize safe later in this newscast.