According to a report from The San Pedro Sun, what was originally supposed to be a one-time occurrence, delivering a donated fire truck to Caye Caulker in November 2017, has now become an ongoing project. During this time, several other trucks, ambulances, and emergency equipment have been donated to Belizean communities by the U.S. and Canada.
It all started in 2013 when former Ohio firefighter James E. York III visited Caye Caulker in 2013 and formed a connection with former fire station Chief Miguel Matus. York saw that the department had a huge need for a quality fire truck. Almost four years later, York successfully delivered a fire truck to La Isla Cariñosa.
York said that, after his January 2013 visit, he began discussions with Matus about acquiring a proper fire truck. York and members of his church, Beechwold Christian, looked at ways of acquiring the truck. After he was successful, one year later, the U.S. Air Force’s Denton Program, which allows U.S based nongovernmental organizations to transport humanitarian aid, assisted by flying the truck to Belize in a C-17 Globemaster aircraft.
Afterward, York started working on acquiring three additional trucks, one of which was sent to San Pedro Town in 2018 following a series of devastating fires. York said that he was also directly involved in the successful delivery of two additional trucks, one for Punta Gorda Town and and another for Ladyville, north of Belize City.
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(Image of Belize flag found on Wikimedia Commons courtesy of Caleb Moore.)