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Ministry of Civil Aviation supports Belizean pilot for BERT air evacuation program

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Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2021. 8:18 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize’s premier emergency and ambulance service, Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT), along with Wings of Hope, today recognized the Ministry of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation for its support of the training and recertification of Belizean pilot Henry Salguero to captain BERT’s Air Evacuation Program.

Originally from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize District, Captain Salguero has more than 1,800 hours of commercial flight time.

Minister Andre Perez recognized BERT’s contribution to saving lives of residents of his Belize Rural South constituency, which covers Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.

“Before the availability of vaccines, BERT responded to and transferred patients from our islands San Pedro and Caye Caulker, valiantly [and] tirelessly and gave us all hope during one of our darkest periods. We are therefore pleased to support BERT as they continue to provide hope during medical emergencies, and ensure that a Belizean pilot gets a job, restoring much needed income to one family,” the Minister said.

Added BERT executive director, Andre Carrillo, “Air medical evacuation services allows us to reach our patients timely and efficiently, from remote locations as far as Punta Gorda Town to San Pedro and Corozal. During a crisis, air medical evacuations provide hope to our patients requiring higher level of care. Our patients are our first priority and our air ambulance has made a tremendous difference in ensuring we meet our mandate and commitment to our community. We therefore extend our gratitude to MBECA and Minister Perez for believing in us, for supporting us and for the continued collaboration to improve and grow our air medical emergency evacuation services.”

Carrillo also spoke of plans to increase the air fleet and take full ownership by transferring airplane title from Wings of Hope to BERT itself.

The air ambulance service has been active for more than 30 years, bringing patients from district regional hospitals and the islands to Belize City. The program uses licensed pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to handle flights.

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