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Oct 10, 2018

Additional Fire Trucks, a Promise or a Reality?

The shortage of equipment across the fire department has been a contributing factor in the loss of lives, as well as property, in at least two tragedies that have occurred so far this year.  In the wake of both incidents there have been promises of additional resources being acquired by the National Fire Service, including water trucks with a carrying capacity of up to three thousand gallons.  But is government making good on those assurances?  According to Minister Edmond Castro, an extra pair of vehicles destined to other areas of the country should arrive in Belize within the next few months.

 

Edmond Castro

Edmond Castro, NEMO Minister

“I would say by the end of the year we should have at least two additional trucks.  I think they’ve already purchased two, so it’s just a matter of them reaching here and third one is going to, I think San Pedro and one for Corozal and one going to PG.  We are also in process of purchasing approximately like six, I think, water bowsers which will carry the capacity of approximately ten trucks, three thousand gallon water bowsers.  We’re also looking at the possibility of getting some cheaper trucks out of the U.S., but the water trucks which will serve as a backup for the fire trucks will really assist the fire fighting capabilities. We have not sent the quotation to the Ministry of Finance; the reason being is that we are trying to get the best bang for our buck.  We had two or three quotations before and I believe that we should be able to get trucks at cheaper rate than the ones that were presented to us.  So that was one of the hang-ups in that regard.  We are trying to source a cheaper truck than the one that was presented to us.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, but now, and this is with everything, are you being what they would call pennywise but pound foolish in terms of trying to extend the resources and spread them out as thin as possible, but fire trucks are something that, high performance under adverse conditions, you can’t really pinch on that.”

 

Edmond Castro

“B.T.L. has purchased two fire trucks for us since that interview.  It’s just a matter of getting the fire trucks here now and we are getting additional fire trucks from the Embassy of India or the country of India which that one will be going to PG.  So it’s just a matter of getting them here.”

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