BERT News chart

New Office and Training Room
November 25, 2013

Check out the photos below of our new office and training room.

New office and training room

New office and training room

New office and training room

New office and training room

New office and training room

November 19th, 2013

The idea of moving the Belize City BERT station/offices from the ground floor to the upper floor was born of necessity and practicality. In addition that the stress of the hurricane season about to start, June 2013, that month also made a year that the upper floor was unoccupied. Loss of revenue and the thought of yet another evacuation upstairs for a hurricane was overwhelming! WE needed the rental fees of course, but wanting to rent only as an office proved to be limiting.

The lower floor had become cluttered and disorganized. Storage space became a significant issue as our needs increased, especially as we have developed a striving training Centre as An International Training Organization of the American Heart Association.

Took us a while to get to it but finally at the end of October after three difficult weeks of carefully coordinating movement to facilitate the renovations which took place concurrently, while avoiding any disruption of service, we are happy to share the results:

  • Functional and efficient utilization of available space
  • No more hurricane evacuation to upper floor stress
  • Adequate, comfortable and attractive training venue
  • Organized & secure storage for medical and training supplies
  • Ample protected file storage

We are confident that the sacrifice to make this much needed change and complete the facelift will be well worth the effort as we are about to close off a busy 2013 and welcome 2014!

Aircraft Field Activity Report
For Period August 1 - October 31, 2013

The Mission:
Picture of Dave Brown, Field volunteer
Dave Brown, Field Volunteer

Activity this quarter was down slightly compared to last quarter, perhaps a reflection of the low tourist season. We transported 89 patients and logged 102 tach-hours, compared to 96 patients and 121 hours for the May through July period. These numbers are consistent with the previously estimated annual usage of 350 patients and 400 hours. Though I did my first patient transfer to Guatemala City, these international flights are way down due to reduced demand, onerous logistics in Mexico, and other factors.

I have now flown through the heart of the Belize rainy season, bringing many new challenges. Weather conditions that call for a fairly routine IFR flight plan in the US demand planning and creativity in our VFR-only environment. Fortunately there has been little impact on patient flights.

Patient transfer at Belize Municipal Airstrip
Patient transfer at Belize Municipal Airstrip

Rainbow on sky
A rainbow to welcome us home at the end of a tough weather day!

Friday, 12th October, 2012

We are proud of our esteemed staff that all planned and executed BERT's Open Day.

In an effort to promote public awareness, BERT hosted an open day to showcase to the public who we are, what we do, and why we do make a difference in saving lives and quality of lives!

Schools and the media were invited to the event. The students who attended were quite interested and reported finding the displays and information very enlightening. Those particularly interested in the medical field further stated that they found the information useful as they decide on their field of their choice!

We are well trained, fully qualified and stand ready to serve the Belizean public!
Remember true emergencies to KHMH are free!

I saw your open hours on the news... Great Job guys!!! I'm sure the citizens of Belize have a better understanding of what you guys can do and hopefully will utilize your services more and more appropriately.
--Edward, A.A.S., BS, M.Ed., NREMT-P, CCEMT-P

Social Security Ride Across Belize contributes generously!

In June 2011 the Belize Social Security Board staged its eighth annual Ride Across Belize. Every year the S.S.B. makes a notable monetary donation to a charitable organization while it promotes healthy living and awareness of a common illness in Belize. In 2011 Social Security Board promoted cancer awareness, and honored BERT by highlighting the importance of the work we do.

Twenty six thousand dollars ($26,000.00 BZD) was handed over to BERT on September 28, 2011. These funds were used to fund much needed items not easily acquired due to the lack of a capital budget. These included new computers and replacement of ten year old office chairs and other urgently needed office furniture and equipment. BERT has also been able to secure and ship a reasonable second hand ambulance over the past year THANKS to this generous donation!

Richard (Dick) Wagner

On Jan. 1, 2012 Richard (Dick)Wagner died after suffering a heart attack in his Lyons, Wisconsin home. He was 74 years old. Along with his wife Bobbie; their daughters, Marcy (Ken) Essman and Julie (Bob) O'Neill;.all of the grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other family and friends, Dick's BERT family mourns his loss!

"Dick approached everything in life with zest and determination," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman emeritus. "He'd do what he said and get it done." We at BERT found that this was not just in his passion for aviation which started his interest in Belize, but in all the other altruistic ventures that he and his lovely wife became involved in over the years through their foundation!

As a final gesture of goodwill funeral donations were contributed to BERT by the foundation. Excerpt of the acknowledgement letter to donors:

"We have decided to give all of the funeral donations to BERT. Dick had a passion for all of the programs in the Wagner Foundation and the choice of where to apply your donation was a difficult one. After some thought, we realized that he had personally spent the most time and effort on the initial set-up and subsequent follow-through of BERT, the Belize Emergency Response Team.

BERT is now a viable non-profit organization which operates with many ambulances and a Piper Cherokee medical-evacuation aircraft, serving most of the small country of Belize in Central America. The fully trained EMTs, the administration, and the Board of Directors are all Belizeans helping their fellow citizens. Your donation will be used to further their needs, while they continue to save lives and provide emergency care. We, along with the people of Belize, thank you.

This contribution co-funded medical supplies, shipping and one of the used ambulances we were able to secure earlier in this year! THANK YOU Dick and the Wagner Foundation for your continued support!

BERT International Training Organization for AHA

In our pursuit to guarantee quality, BERT saw the need to affiliate with an established entity such as the American Heart Association. We relentlessly pursued this dream for years until we finally made the grade in late 2007. We are proud to report that we have been able to maintain our contract since in ALL disciplines! It is an expensive and challenging venture but we maintain that it is a boon to our country! We thank the Medical and Dental Council for recognizing our contribution to the medical community a couple years ago at the annual Medical and Dental Congress under the leadership of Dr. Higalgo!

January 2009 - YAG gives generous donation to BERT

Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) rang in the New Year with the delivery of over $16,000.00 in donated medical supplies from Yacht Aid Global (YAG). YAG engages the Captain, Crew, Owners and yachts with charitable work either with donations or volunteering their time, providing the means for yacht owners, guests, captains and crew to give back to the coastal communities they visit.  YAG forms joint venture opportunities with other qualified charitable organisations and corporations for expansion throughout the world.  Captain Mark Drewelow says “We have a client base that is typically already into charitable giving and they have a platform capable of delivering goods to the needy in locations that are already on the route plan.”

After months of communications, the final progression was followed on the YAG website: 

2008 - November 20
The Triton Publishing in Fort Lauderdale agrees to accept deliveries of medical equipment and supplies bound for Belize

2008 - December 1
YAG starts the ordering process for medical equipment and supplies for BERT - Belize Emergency Response Team. 

2008 - December 19
Chef John Rubino in Fort Lauderdale picks up the BERT supplies and delivers to the yacht that has agreed to transport the goods to Belize City.

Finally coming to fruition with the kind cooperation of Carolyn Turton of Ventura, Customs Broker Enrique Edwards and officials of the Customs Department and Ports Authority, the process of streamlining delivery of the goods that arrived in Belize via a luxury yacht on December 31, 2008 was accomplished.  The Captain was excited about partaking in this worthy venture, saying.  “Achieving a procedure that caused zero impact on the yacht, Captain, crew and operation in general, will ensure that there will be more of the same coming your way!” 

BERT responded to 2622 emergency calls in 2008 saving countless lives and preserving quality of life! BERT is very grateful for this valuable contribution which is a major boon to the essential services they provided. 

Founder of Yacht Aid Global, Captain Mark Drewelow, San Diego


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