For Immediate Release June 19, 2020
Belmopan – On June 19, the United States Government delivered two ambulances donated by the Virginia Emergency Services Program, a U.S. non-governmental organization, to the Belize Fire Department in San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The shipment was transported by the U.S. Department of Defense under the U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Program. On their arrival to Belize, the ambulances were immediately handed over to Fire Chief Collin Gillett by U.S. Embassy Belmopan Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Keith Gilges.
“The United States is committed to protecting the health and safety of the Belizean people, which includes providing improved access to life-saving medical care,” said Keith Gilges, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. “Whether Belizeans face dangers from natural disasters, pandemics like COVID-19, or everyday health emergencies, the length of time that it takes to get proper medical care can mean the difference between life and death. These two new ambulances will help expand access to critical health resources for tens of thousands of people in Western Belize, saving lives in the process.”
The two donated ambulances, a Ford E350 Ambulance and International 4300 Ambulance, were transported on a C17 military aircraft from Charleston Air Force Base. The new ambulances will improve the Government of Belize’s natural disaster response capabilities, particularly its ability to provide timely public health and disaster relief. There are currently no pre-hospital emergency services available in the towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. The new ambulances will provide residents with access to lifesaving medical care, benefiting more than 20,000 residents and visitors in the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio.