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Nov 23, 2020

Ladyville Gets a Fire Truck!

Today, the National Fire Service received a fire truck for its Ladyville Station. It may seem like just a truck, but it is significant for the fire-fighters who will use it and the communities who will benefit from having this piece of equipment at their disposal in case of an emergency.  To hand over this much needed fire truck, the fire department and its U.S. donor partners held a brief ceremony in Ladyville. Here’s the story:


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Ladyville Fire Station added another fire truck to its fleet today. This piece of equipment is an upgrade from the two trucks that make up the station’s fleet. This new addition has a water carrying capacity of a thousand gallons – and in better condition than the two old trucks that the fire-fighters at the station have been using.


Colin Gillett

Colin Gillett, Fire Chief

 “Today we welcome this 1987 Ford Groman fire truck, which with its one thousand gallon tank, has a fire monitor on the top with its one thousand gallon tank; it has a fire monitor on the top and came with all sorts of other pieces of equipment. When you look at this truck and you look at those trucks in the back which we deliberately didn’t hide because so that you can see the contrast, this truck is a thousand times better. It will definitely serve the village of Ladyville so much better. The truck in the back was actually broken in half and our firefighters still drove it to fire scenes.


The ten fire-fighters of the Ladyville Fire Station will now use this truck to respond to fires in the Ladyville and Lords Bank – where some ten thousand residents live. They also respond to fires in Sandhill Village. It’s a welcomed donation for these communities – as echoed by Area representative Dolores Balderamos Garcia, as well Chairman of Ladyville Bernardo Bennett who was key person behind the scenes to get this truck for his village.


Dolores Balderamos-Garcia

Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, Area Representative, Belize Rural Central

“It’s Ladyville and Lords Bank and if I am not mistaken, this area is bigger than Punta Gorda by far and it is a sprawling suburban community with over ten thousand population. I am even told that fire fighters go as far up as Sand Hill. So, basically, it is desperately needed; highly appreciate it and we thank everyone responsible.”


Bernardo Bennett

Bernardo Bennett, Chairman, Ladyville

“The truck is here now so we are very much once again say that we are glad and grateful for it. I believe, I must say firefighters, this is a 1997 truck and you see how it looks. So, we are asking to please take care of it like it is your personal vehicle. So, let’s crank up this baby and hopeful we don’t get any fire call but just be on the ready.”


This truck is a donation that was made possible with the help of a number of partners in the United States. With the help of the US Embassy, the truck was brought to Belize on a flight with the help of the Denton Humanitarian Aid Program.


Keith Gilges

Keith Gilges, Charge de Affaires, US Embassy

“We must first and foremost recognize the generosity of the U.S. non-governmental gear organization Global Gear Initiative for finding and buying this fire truck for Belize.   This specific donation continues the work began after a chance meeting in 20102 after a chance meeting in 2012 when firefighter Jim York of Ohio met Caye Caulker Fire Chief Miguel Mattis while on vacation. Through their partnership, the first donation was derived in 2017 and since then we have donated three more fire trucks to San Pedro, Corozal and Ladyville. In December, a fire truck will arrive for Punta Gorda. This fire truck next to me here comes from the volunteer fire department of Kelly North Carolina. In the short note that accompanied the fire truck on its journey from Kelly, Brandon Norris the fire chief of the volunteer fire department wrote, ‘Dear Chief Longsworth, this truck has served us well for many years and we hope that it will serve your department well long into the future. Be safe in every situation and praying for you all.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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