A fortuitous visit
What was expected to be a one-time project – delivering a donated fire truck to Caye Caulker in November 2017, has become a regular occurrence. Other Belizean communities have been additionally gifted trucks, ambulances, and emergency equipment sent from the United States of America and Canada. It all began when former firefighter James E York III of Ohio, USA, visited Caye Caulker in 2013 and established a strong bond with the then chief of the fire station Miguel Matus. He saw the tremendous need for a good machine, and nearly four years later, York successfully delivered a fire truck to La Isla Cariñosa.
According to York, after his visit in January 2013 where he befriended Matus, discussions began between them in 2016 about acquiring a proper fire truck. York and members of his church (Beechwold Christian) looked at ways of getting a hold of a fire truck. Once the fire truck was acquired a year later, the Denton Program within the United States (U.S.) Air Force, which allows U.S based non-governmental organizations to transport humanitarian aid, assisted in flying the truck to Belize in a C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Afterward, York got busy working on three additional fire trucks, of which one was sent to San Pedro Town following a series of devastating and tragic fires in 2018. York shared that he was directly involved in the successful delivery of two additional trucks, which went to Punta Gorda Town and Ladyville north of Belize City.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun