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Nov 17, 2021

Building the Capacity of the National Fire Service

From the Conference of the Parties in the U.K. to Virginia, U.S.A.  Minister Orlando Habet and C.E.O. Doctor Kenrick Williams are with the Belize Heroes organization looking at ways to build on infrastructure and policy development for the National Fire Service in Belize. Belize Heroes, which is the brainchild of Belizean American fire-fighter Archibald Macfarlane, has been working to build the capacity of the National Fire Service in San Ignacio. Through funding from the US CARSI program, there is an opportunity to further expand this training to integrate emergency medical services for fire-fighters. Following several meetings, News Five was able to speak with the minister via zoom today.


Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Disaster Risk Management

“It’s a department within the ministry that needed a lot of attention. But it needs a lot of work both structurally in terms of infrastructure back home with the buildings and equipment and everything else. But policy-wise, it lacks a lot of policy direction and we needed to see how we can get that type of assistance. Luckily, we had a contact in Virginia from Mister Macfarlane who has been working with the Belize Heroes program and has assisted Belize in acquiring some equipment in terms of trucks and other equipment for the department. And so the fire chief arranged for a meeting for us to come up and meet with him and some of the people he works with. And so we have been here visiting several counties in Virginia looking at the operationalisation of their fire departments and how they have been able to incorporate the fire unit along with the emergency medical services, EMS, and the qualification of their EMTs and how they have been able to incorporate it into the fire department and make it as one.”


Archibald Macfarlane

Archibald Macfarlane, Belize Heroes

“We wanted to meet to sensitise Doctor Williams and the minister about the fire service and how to fire department is operating, especially the medical component. As you know, last November, we piloted an EMS program in San Ignacio/Santa Elena and we just got a two hundred and fifty thousand-dollar grant from the U.S. Embassy through the CARSI program. And so we are expanding the EMS program to include all of Cayo – Belmopan, San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Benque and all the surrounding villages in Cayo. This was an opportunity for us to talk to the C.E.O. and the minister about the plan for the program and how it will be implemented.”

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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