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Jul 2, 2012

Fire official says residents should call fire station rather than 911 for fire emergencies

Kenneth Mortis

As for the delayed response, Kenneth Mortis, the substation officer says it may be because the family and neighbors were calling 911, rather than calling the Orange Walk Fire Station.


Kenneth Mortis, Substation Officer, Orange Walk Fire Station

“I’m not pointing any fingers and I’m not blaming anybody, but I would only want to think that it would be ridiculous that if we are sitting here, which is approximately five minutes from where the fire occurred, then how could we take an hour. That is something that we are trying to investigate internally to find out exactly and confirm where all these calls were being made. It’s a sad event, but it’s an ongoing issue in terms of fires and firemen and the fire department taking too long to respond. Sometimes what might be a couple of minutes, in the event of a fire, might seem longer than it really is. So um, one of the Fire Department’s biggest concern would be to try and inform the general public to contact the nearest fire directly and try to not go down that 911 road. 911 is only a police hotline and the police in turn contact us at the Fire Department.”


Delahnie Bain

“So that may be where the delay comes in?”


Kenneth Mortis

“That could very well contribute. Like I said, most of the neighbors confirmed that yes, we made calls but we called 911. Even after we responded to the scene, calls still came in from the neighbors to the fire station so it appeared that after a while they decide that you know what, let us try a different route and that is when they decided to call us but we had already dispatched. I can’t stop stressing or emphasizing the point of making the correct calls. 302-2090 is the direct number for the Orange Walk Fire Department and that is what we recommend that neighbors or anybody for that matter that have a fire or fire related emergency; call us. It’s much easier that way and then that way we could alleviate the continuous bash about we taking too long and what have you.”


Peters claims that they did call the fire station at first, but turned to the police hotline when the trucks were slow in coming. 

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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9 Responses for “Fire official says residents should call fire station rather than 911 for fire emergencies”

  1. Storm says:

    Well, why not add the fire department to the 911 center? I think it’s done that way in other countries — 911 is where you call the government to respond to ANY life-threatening emergency, and then the well-trained dispatcher sends whoever is necessary.

    Some emergencies will need police, fire, and ambulance. Why ask a victim to call 3 different numbers?

    Please, WE CAN DO BETTER.

  2. Rod says:

    Typical udp gov. No surprise here the incompetence of this gov. Is endless they were too busy playing dominoes.

  3. Farid says:

    Rod, when your a__ catch fire ah hope you know the # to OW fire station. YOU are so stupid to say the GOB is the root of the problem. Please say something that is helpful!

  4. Ragamuffin says:

    I agree with Farid – Rod is an idiot. How many times during the PUP term did we not hear the same complaint from fire victiom????? Let us try and come up with solutions instead of blaming parties. This is one of the reasons Belizeans will continue to suffer at the hands of both parties.

  5. rod says:

    farid no wonder they call you farid you farid too big you cant think no more

  6. now i see says:

    What @ Rod says about the dominoes is true. They need to have water at all times. And if its only five minutes from there you could of smell the smoke or see the fire. Good thing the kids were saved by the mother.

  7. melvin says:

    Pitifully. I agree that when you call 911, the police, abulance and fire department should
    be present in the scene.

  8. says:

    Only in Belize fire engine catch fire, only in Belize 911 tell u no call them, only in Belize…lol

  9. Xtasy` says:

    Storm I totally agree with you. How many people can actually remember a number like 3022090 to call when there’s a fire. It’s a well known fact that people get excited and tend to lose their heads when there’s a fire or an accident. I don’t understand why they cant route all these calls made to 911 to the correct department. It shouldn’t only be for police.

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