By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter
The Belize National Fire Service received a donation of BZ $1.178 million worth of new equipment from the United States Military Liaison Office (USMLO) at a handing over ceremony on Friday morning aimed at improving the department’s services, efficiency and providing greater safety for firefighters.
US Ambassador Carlos Moreno delivered they keynote speech and noted the importance of the fire service in any country. He noted the necessity of the fire service, noting that in California, where he is from, and which is faced with severe drought and wild fires, fire fighters are called on daily.
Minister of Labor, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management Organization, and Immigration and Nationality Godwin Hulse accepted the donation on the government’s behalf. He said Belize is grateful for the donations from the US government. He added that donations like these are always appreciated because being a small economy with a small budget, this kind of contribution allows the government to direct resources, which otherwise would have been spent on the equipment, to be used in other avenues.
The donation from the USMLO includes 200 complete sets of protective clothing with helmets, hoods, jackets, trousers, boots and gloves. The Fire Service also received 80 breathing apparatus cylinders, 12 rescue saws, 14 gas detectors, 6 complete sets of hurst rescue tools, spreaders, rams, cutters and power units, five portable pumps and 40 hand-held radios.
Hulse assured that the Fire Department would put the new equipment to good use and would carefully use and maintain each new piece of equipment gifted to them.