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......