As part of a multi-year project that launched in 2022, Empact Northwest is partnering with Belize Heroes, Trek Medics International, Global Support and Development, and the Belize National Fire Service to improve emergency response in Belize. The first phase, implementing a Computer Aided Dispatch System is almost complete! In 2023, Empact will help the Belize National Fire Service develop an internationally and Nationally deployable rescue team. The project supports Belize National Fire Service's capability-building efforts in Fire Management and Suppression, Mass Search and Rescue Operations, Planning, Operational Coordination, Hazmat Decontamination, Emergency Medical Services, and Emergency Communications.
To date, this project has:
- Trained 26 new Dispatchers in Belize
- Trained 80 local Emergency Responders
- Installed 11 response terminals in fire engines, ambulances, and other response units
This dispatching system will also serve as part of the core infrastructure for the rest of our projects in Belize, establishing a more effective fire and EMS response system as well as developing technical rescue and disaster response capabilities. Even as a small part of a bigger project, this dispatch training will have a major impact! Each fire company in the initial implementation region now has a mobile data terminal, running the innovative software Beacon and allowing for centralized dispatch as well as two-way communications between the companies in the field and their (brand new) dedicated fire dispatchers. We are so excited to see the huge difference this program will make in the lives of the people of Belize!
Empact's Community Preparedness Manager and multiple other Empact team members recently returned from over a week providing training in Beacon emergency dispatch software, call-taking techniques, and other topics; Empact Northwest is pleased to announce that the Belize National Fire Service (BNFS) now has its first-ever team of professional emergency dispatchers!
These highly trained dispatchers will be instrumental in deploying engine and EMS crews in the Cayo District. As BNFS transitions into Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) they will be using cellular communications, GPS, radios, and other technologies to minimize delays in response times, improve crew safety, and provide life-sustaining instructions while crews are en route to the emergency. They will also update crews with critical information through every step of the incident and communicate with other agencies to ensure the right help gets to the right place at the right time.
This is an accomplishment we are honored to have played a role in alongside Trek Medics International and Belize Heroes; it's only the beginning of a very exciting, impactful project!