Digi gifts San Pedro Fire Station with a fully-equipped fire truck
The San Pedro Fire Department received a fire-truck today thanks to Digi. The fully-equipped fire-truck is the third to be added to the fire station’s fleet. Fire officials say it will greatly enhance the fire-fighting services that have been growing as the population increases. As you’ve seen right here on News 5 Live, we have reported on many fires on the island this year which have resulted in tragedies that claimed lives and destroyed property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is hoped that with better equipment, there will be fewer of these tragic and costly fires. Reporter Andrea Polanco was in San Pedro today and tells us more about the donation.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
San Pedro fire-fighters are testing out this truck that’s being added to their fleet. The fire-truck will get as many as six fire-fighters to fire scenes – and its sleek built will be easier to drive along the narrow streets on the island boosting fire-fighters’ response time. Digi officials handed over the keys to fire-authorities this morning at the San Pedro Fire station. The truck, which is in mint condition, couldn’t have come at a better time. In recent months, there have been several house fires on the island. In June, one blaze claimed four lives. And two months later, over seventy-five persons were left without a roof over their heads when fire destroyed their homes. Acting Fire Chief Ben Matura says this truck will go a long to fight fires on the island.
Ben Matura, Acting Fire Chief, Fire Department
“This additional truck will help us tremendously. As you are aware of the last fires that happened, many lives have been lost. The island is growing and we need to grow along with it. This will help us tremendously. The type of truck is designed for narrow streets, so, again, it will help in reaching the fires in a timely manner.”
“And its water capacity?”
“It has water capacity of six hundred gallons. It is fully equipped – the rear is fully equipped to hold at least four fire-fighters so in total we can take six fire fighters to a fire in this truck.”
The fire-truck is courtesy of Digi with support from the San Pedro Town Council and the Ministry.
Rochus Schreiber, CEO, BTL
“When we heard about the challenges the community had with the fires. We heard about the several tragedies that had struck the community, it was only natural that we stood up and said what can we do. It was collaboration. We spoke with the mayor who was already working very hard to address those issues. We spoke with the CEO Meighan about how we can help and together we came up with the solution.”
Daniel Guerrero, Mayor, San Pedro Town
“We are cognizant that every time there is a fire, hundreds of thousands of dollars go up in smoke. We cannot continue to afford that to happen. We all need to do our share in addressing these emergencies.”
This donation marks the third fire-truck in the San Pedro fire station’s fleet. But there is a need to replace the dated fleet so as to equip fire-fighters with the right tools they need. The fire department hopes to add one more truck to the san Pedro station in the near future:
Edmond Castro, Minister, NEMO
“Anything better than what we had in the past – the trucks that we have are very old; some are from 1946 and 1950’s. So, we will be able to retire those slowly as soon as we could get new updated pieces of equipment that could help us.”
“Hopefully next year we can see if we will be able to get an additional truck for here. What we are looking for here is that the additional truck will be a tanker truck which would take approximately three thousand to three thousand five gallons of water. So, basically it will be just a tank. It won’t have all the equipment. That is why we have this one which will take all the equipment and that one will take the additional water. And with that we will be able to do better fire-fighting because with that it will be like you have the whole hydrant right with you.”
The value of the fire-truck that was donated today is just under one hundred thousand dollars.
Digi Hands Over Fire Truck To San Pedro
In a short ceremony this morning, Monday, December 17, 2018, the telecommunications company Digi handed over a fire truck to the community of San Pedro. Digi states that the official handing over is part of the company’s commitment to community development.
“We are part of the community of San Pedro and the fact that we are in a position to help is something that we can appreciate and cognizant of the responsibility that comes with this privilege,” commented Mr. Rochus Schreiber, CEO of Digi. “The truck that we are donating today is just a small expression of our gratitude for the fact that the community allows us to help develop this lovely island. When we heard about the challenges that the community has with fires and the several tragedies that have struck the community, it was only natural to stand up and do something about it.”
Minister Edmond Castro stated that the firetruck is one of the newest in the country’s fire arsenal with a holding capacity of 500+ gallons of water. The donation makes it the third fire truck for the island that will greatly improve the service of the San Pedro Fire Department. The aquisition if the truck has been the collaborative effort of Digi, the San Pedro Town Council, the Government of Belize and other stakeholders. The Town Council expressed that they are working in acquiring another fire truck.
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