Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Triple R Evac delivers medical supplies to Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Belize City


For the second time, much-needed medical supplies worth $2 million were handed over to San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, and Caye Caulker on Thursday, December 17, by the Rickilee Response and Rescue (RRR) Air Evac Emergency Response Team. The medical supplies were unloaded at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, and an amount was transported to Caye Caulker. The donation was made possible by Project CURE and Young Professionals out of the United States of America, who have been working with Triple R.

A portion of the supplies went to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) and the Belize Emergency Response Team in Belize City. As COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the country, the sick is referred to KHMH, where they are experiencing a bed shortage. As part of this important donation, approximately 36 beds and surgical equipment were handed over to the hospital, which is housing most of the COVID-19 related patients.

Like their donation in December 2019, some of the items delivered to the Polyclinic in San Pedro included surgical kits, wheelchairs, beds, furniture, breathing masks, therapy items, and even a refrigerator. The shipment of items donated is what was needed before the COVID-19 pandemic in Belize. According to Robert Swanigan, a representative of Air Evac Triple R in the USA, they hope to obtain cargo addressing the pandemic’s needs. “We hope to get one post-COVID-19 shipment that would be directly pertaining to COVID, but this one is particularly medical supplies that were needed before COVID hit,” said Swanigan. He added that the donation was possible again this year after being approached by the organizations Young Professionals and Project CURE. Swanigan said these organizations were impressed with the job Triple R did last year in getting medical supplies to Belize.

Triple R’s Director in San Pedro, Vanessa Parham, said that the medical donation is based on a needs analysis done prior to COVID-19 in Belize. Her colleague, Triple R’s Supervisor and head of the organization’s research and rescue team, Philip ‘Billy’ Leslie, shared how necessary this shipment of medical supplies is for the country. The fact that every time island patients have medical emergencies, they are evacuated to the KHMH. Thus, having KHMH receiving a more significant bulk of the supplies was a God’s send.

Representatives of the local Police Formation, the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez, along with Mayor Daniel Guerrero, present at the handing over, commended Triple R’s efforts. The supplies are expected to enhance the services the polyclinic offers to the island community.

Shortly after the handing over of supplies to the polyclinic, a boat left for Caye Caulker with medical supplies for their polyclinic.

Triple R was established in June 2017 created by Traci and Jim Curtin, who formed Triple R Response in memory of Rickilee Mercer. Mercer was an American National who was found dead on the leeward coast of Ambergris Caye on March 1, 2017, after she was reported missing on February 28, 2017. The young woman had gone jet skiing around the area of Secret Beach.
Triple R thanked everyone who donated, particularly their team in the USA. Acknowledgment also goes to all the volunteers, the staff of the Polyclinic, Young Professionals, Project CURE, the assistance of Mayor Guerrero, Area Representative, Honourable Andre Perez, Alex Eiley, Ellis Eiley, and Ellis Eiley Jr. of Caribbean Depot for transporting the cargo of medical supplies to the island free of charge. They also thanked the Ministry of Finance, Health, Tourism, their island’s representatives, Parham, and Leslie, along with Rotary International.

For any emergencies or more information on Triple R, call 627-1117.

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