The Vice Minister for Japan was in Belize for the last two days and is preparing to depart after holding several meetings with some Government officials and handing over three new vehicles to the National Fire Service, the National Emergency Management Organization and the Belize Police Department. His Excellency Shunsuke Takei did the official handing over this morning at the Fire Station Headquarters in Belize City. According to Ted Smith, Belize’s Fire Chief, the vehicles are ideal for crisis situations.
“These command vehicles will be utilized by NEMO the police and the fire department as command structures in times of crisis situations. I can’t speak much for the police or NEMO but I could speak for the fire that we will utilize those in large scale situations to have that command structure on the ground to provide leadership, command and control. The vehicle will be outfitted with the necessary communication and the necessary maps of the city and in particular the urban areas of the country so that whichever urban area it is that it is deployed to they can function and they will know where the nearest water sources are, the nearest hydrants and open water sources and the design of the particular area. Within that structure, in an emergency a number of agencies that operate in a crisis situation so what we could have here is representation from all of those agencies within that command structure so if the fire service needs and ambulance at such a point we don’t have to send a runner like what takes place we can simply inform the representative from that ambulance service within that command structure that we need something at a location and so they can then communicate with their people and send those resources there. Likewise if we have issues with the traffic you know the situation in Belize the open water sources in some cases are far away from the area of the fire and the truck has to be almost a thousand feed away from the fire and other vehicles sometimes come in between the laying of the hoses and the incident so we have to ensure in some cases we may need police or traffic control out there, we can simply communicate that to their representatives within the structures who will then deploy their people to sort that situation out.”
Minister for the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO was on hand during the handing over. He expressed gratitude for the donation from the Japanese Government as he addressed the gathering.
The liaison leading to today’s handing over was conducted via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as explained by the ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Arlette Gomez.
“Well this is a part of our cooperation through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs like you said we have a 30 year relationship with Japan and one of the main focuses is cooperation and so our director of cooperation Mrs. Earla Cantun Coleman she was very instrumental in helping us in getting this donation.”
“Now the Vice Minister has been in country since when and what are the the meetings he has had and with who?”
“He came in on the 9th and he met on that same day with our Deputy Prime Minister, he met with Minister Contreras in his capacity of Economic Development and Foreign Trade and he met with the acting minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Godwin Hulse and they spoke about bilateral relations. Japan gives us donation in education and training through JICA, through the volunteers who come into Belize to assist in culture, education and all those different areas and like I mentioned they are a founding member of the group of friends who are part of the Belize Guatemala transition process and assist us in funding in some of those areas.”
On hand at the handing over was the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police, Russell Blackett.