Coast Guard receives ambulance and medical equipment from U.S. Embassy Print E-mail
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Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Keith Gilges represented the United States Government as he handed over an ambulance, lifesaving medical equipment, and a two-year supply of parts and service equipment. The donation, valued at nearly $128,000 BZD, was made to the Belize Coast Guard. The handover is funded by the US Department of State’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program and aims to enhance the Coast Guard’s capacity to respond in a timely and comprehensive manner to emergencies along the coast and near its outposts.

At the handing over ceremony Coast Guard Vice Commander Elton Bennett, noted that the equipment is very much needed by the organization. He stated that working in a high risk environment there have been numerous instances where emergency medical attention has had to be administered to personnel and transportation was one of those factors that played a key role. He added that, “there are many other medical emergencies that we have had to deal with in the recent past.” Bennett added that, “This ambulance plays an integral part of the medical support system that answers that question what if. Just to highlight some of the features if the ambulance we are receiving today. This is a special purpose, special design Toyota Land Cruiser Prado that has been customized for ambulance service. It comes equipped with two trauma kits and seating arrangements for combat medics. The treatment Bay is equipped with oxygen tanks and regulators, IV tracks and all the necessary emergency medical care required during patient transfer. This ambulance also will play a crucial role in supporting our humanitarian missions in transferring search and rescue casualties from sea to the door of the hospital in Belize City.”

The FMF program has been active in Belize for more than 35 years—a testament to the enduring partnership between the United States and Belize.  Since the inception of the Belize Coast Guard in 2005, the United States Government has invested over $35 million BZD through this program.  The program has facilitated the purchase of a wide range of equipment, such as boats, vehicles, and communications technology.  It has also supported technical training events in diverse fields, including maintenance, operations management, and medical practices.  This ongoing collaboration between the militaries of Belize and the United States showcases the two countries’ lasting commitment to security and prosperity in the region.

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Belize and the Coast Guard, Rear Admiral John Borland emphasized the strong friendship between the two countries.  The United States Southern Command’s Security Cooperation Office in Belize and the Ministry of National Security worked closely together to make this handover possible.


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