Wednesday, January 21, 2009


BDARRT is getting ready to once again participate in the 2009 Ruta Maya River Challenge as the Medical Response team to the race partipants and for any emergency that presents itself. This race is held on the Belize River starting at the main bridge in San Ignacio Town- this year starting on March 6th and ending in Belize city on March 9th.

River Reckies will take place on Janaury 31st and also on February 28th on both the river itself and the land access points to the river.

BDARRT will also be holding is Pre- Ruta Maya Swift Water training course on the weekend of Feb 13th,14th and 15th. The location is still being decided on and more details will be available as the team gets closer to that weekend.

This training will be open to the public and especially important for those who wish to assist the medical and rescue team during the race.

We will keep you updated on the events leading up to the race.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Flood & Swift Water Training

This past weekend- July 11th -13th, BDARRT once again offered their popular Flood & Swift water training course. We had a great group of about 29 individuals join us at Green Acres Ranch on the Sibun River. The course included such topics as : Characteristics of swift water; hazards of swift water common judgmental mistakes for rescuers; learning the purposes of a Personal Floatation Device or PFD; the different types of life jackets or PFD’s; learning about the correct gear for a swift water rescue, learning about “Strainers” and how to retrieve an injured patient from a strainer and also how to cross a patient on a fast flowing & deep river.

The first two days were spent in the Sibun River learning rope rescue techniques, finding and recovering an injured person in very strong current, using the resources and materials available to the rescuers, learning about currents and night time search & rescues. Hypothermia was one of the main topics covered in the course.

The main idea of the courses is not only to sit down in a classroom and take notes on the different aspects that are being taught but to actually learn a new technique, the reasons for this particular technique and then getting out on the river and practicing that over and over until everyone has acquired the technique and skills.

We appreciate the kind contributions sent especially with food items- a heartfelt "thank you" to NEMO (Belmopan Headquaters). Other individuals and businesses also contributed with cash donations- again "thank you". Ian Anderson & Caves Branch for the use of their jungle bus and Green Acres Ranch for the use of their jungle facility.

We will be announcing another course in the weeks to come.......

Friday, June 27, 2008

How To Sponser BDARRT

As mentioned in an earlier post, BDARRT is working towards becoming a completely independent NGO in Belize. Each of our members is a volunteer. In order to continue operating and offering our services to the Belizean community, funds are needed.

We will be updating this blog with information on how to assist and sponsor our team. If you would like to offer a private onetime donation, this is always welcome at any time and in any amount. We thank you in advance for your kind contribution to this worthy cause. In helping us - you help Belize!

Exciting Senarios & Events

2001-When Hurricane Keith destroyed much of San Pedro "members of BDARRT arrived by boat on the shores of San Pedro, fully supplied and equipped to set up a fully operational kitchen and medical clinic. They spent 10 days on the Island providing thousands of meals, surveying the damage, identifying immediate needs and providing medical attention to hundreds. "

"On Monday, October 8th, as Hurricane Iris was destroying most of the south lands of Belize. The people of the Belize Diaster and Rescue Response Team and the 5 foreign tourists that worked side by side with us as part of "The Rescue Team" did not spend 14 days in Toledo for a thank you or for recognition. In total, BDARRT and their supporters provided relief of approx 17,000 meals and immediate medical attention to approx 1600 illness over the first 14 days after Iris struck.

One of the most eventful expeditions that BDARRT was part of was the 2005 K2 Medical expedition led by Dr. Keith Brown on invitation of the National Geographic Socienty.
Walter Santos (Present Team I.C) and Lynwen Griffiths who served as the team photographer& videographer, both members of the Belize Disaster and Rescue Response team, were selected to join a multi national medical response team to escort a National Geographic / NASA science team to K2, located in the Himalayan Mountain range in northern Pakistan.

BDARRT was proud to have one of its members become the first Belizean to visit K2! It was an amazing journey and experience.

In November of 2005, during the passage of Tropical Storm Gamma on the Pacific Coast of Central America, heavy rains and low ceiling clouds were to blame for the disappearance of a small privately owned plane carrying a Belizean pilot and two American tourist on their honeymoon. The plane was owned by Blancaneaux Lodge. The plance was enroute from Ambergris Caye to the lodge when it went missing over the Mountain Pine Ridge. Members of BDARRT immediately the call for assistance in searching for the plane and the occupants. After more than 13 hours of searching, the plane was found, but sadly all three aboard were killed.
This response however was vital for the team's recognition as an organization available to respond to all types of emergency calls.

In recent years, the team has been called upon to assist during storm emergencies, rescue and recovery of missing persons- both on land and at sea, providing medical and rescue training for hotels, resorts and NGO's, and also receiving training from the BDF, Mexican Military Medical Corp and more recently in providing vital assistance and emergency response to flood victims of southern Belize just a few weeks ago.

Last year, several team members became dive certified and have been of assistance since then, in search and recovery emergency calls, such as the incident where 7 Belizean business men went missing of the coast in their fishing boat and only one of them has so far been found, and just two weeks ago in the case of a missing teenager from a village in the Belize River Valley.

The Team is making important contacts with NEMO- National Emergency Management Organization in Belize and through the Belize Defense Force.

BDARRT will be announcing training dates throughout the year and these will be open to individuals from all organizations and across the country. These dates will be posted on our blog site and notices will be sent out by email.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Belize Disaster And Rescue Response Team

Belize Disaster And Rescue Response Team locally called BDARRT is a team of dedicated professionals from different organizations in Belize. Comprising mainly of tour guides, medical personal from both local hospitals, private first responder units and the military, trained medics from the private sector and others, this team of highly trained members, offers their services and expertise to the Belizean community at large.

Originally started by Ian Anderson- founder and owner of Caves Branch Jungle Lodge & Adventure Company in the cayo area, the team was formed based on a need to have such as team available in the event of injury, accidents or other emergencies. Because at the time, he was introducing caving and other adventures into tourism, the need to have this team was vital.

Through different contacts, he was put in touch with two excellent trainers- Dr. Keith Brown of the University of Nebraska and Bruce Hagen of San Jose, California,- Chief rescue instructor for the team and medical commander of a California FEMA team. Through these two professionals, tour guides- hand picked and selected were introduced to intense training in Wilderness Medicine, Cave and Wilderness Rescue & Recovery, Swift Water Rescue, Emergency First Response and Confined Space Rescue.

This team has now evolved into a group of dedicated men and women who are willing to answer to any emergency call and come to the aide of those in need whether from the private sector or from the National Emergency Management Organization-NEMO, in Belize.

In recent years, Ian Anderson has been the main supporter not with funds, but with equipment, vehicles and communications. Many resorts and other NGO's have been invited to send their personal for trainings held at different times of the year, however because the team would like to expand and become self sufficient and independant NGO in Belize, a team structure has been developed. Elected members have accepted the posts of Incident Commander, Logistics, Operations and Communications.

To date, more than 30 individuals comprise the team and we look forward to a time when we can have strike teams posted in each district and town. More updates coming soon......