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Belize Emergency Response Personnel receive the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Certified Training in Emergency Care and Treatment (ECAT) in Disasters

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Belize City, Belize, 28 October 2019 (PAHO/WHO) – Belizean First Responders from the Ministry of Health, Belize Emergency Response Team, Southern Emergency Services, Belize National Fire Service, Belize Police Department, and Department of Transport will participate in PAHO’s skills-based training course to improve their ability in providing emergency medical care and treatment to patients on the scene of an accident or emergency. The training is jointly funded by the European Union through the Health Sector Support Programme Belize, and the Global Affairs Canada under the project Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Program – Health Sector.

The Emergency Care and Treatment (ECAT) training is set to take place from October 28, 2019 to November 1, 2019 at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The course is designed to develop participants’ skills in providing pre-hospital care as first responders, specifically in assessing and caring for patients’ injury, illness or catastrophe during the first few minutes of an emergency. Participants will be exposed to quick and appropriate emergency interventions that can save lives and can lead to an overall decrease in mortality and morbidity.

“In many cases, the site of injury is not close or near to a hospital or medically trained individuals and some intervention is needed to preserve the life of injured persons,” said John Bodden, Principal Public Health Inspector of Ministry of Health. “This training will allow persons to render assistance to prevent death and stabilize persons until the necessary specialized emergency medical help becomes available.”

Facilitating the course is PAHO’s Regional Emergency Response Trainer, Peter Burgess, whose passion for emergency training came during his 26-year military service. After becoming affiliated with PAHO in 1992, Burgess realized the impact and value of the ECAT course.

“Emergency response personnel such as police, firefighters and NGOs can provide valuable life-saving measures,” said Burgess. “The training emphasizes the need for safe removal of injured victims from an incident scene, recognition of patients needing urgent medical interventions, triaging and performing the necessary basic medical skills.”

During the 40-hour course on emergency care and treatment, 21 Belizean first responders from various governmental departments will participate in verbal and practical training including examinations. With the successful completion of the course, participants will receive an ECAT certificate making them PAHO Certified First Responders of Belize.

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