U.S. Ambassador John Carwile, Chairman of Kandava and Parish Union Jānis Mazitāns, representatives of State Emergency Medical Service (SEMS), representatives of U.S. European Command and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate completion of the cooperation project between the U.S. and the Latvian State Emergency Medical Service (SEMS) on Wednesday, September 29. During this project, Kandava Medical warehouse was renovated and acquired new and modern premises.
The U.S. Embassy Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC Latvia) worked closely with SEMS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to implement the U.S. European Command Civic Engagement funded project of over $700,000. The project was awarded to Latvian construction company “Abora”. This project at Kandava Medical warehouse entailed replacement of the building’s utility systems, renovation of interior storage rooms, installation of ventilation and shelving systems, as well as repair of the roof.
“In emergency situations, it is of highest importance to provide assistance in the shortest possible time. This renovation will accomplish that for the residents of western Latvia. The wonderful result of this project could be made possible only through close coordination and the hard work of many great partners,” said Ambassador Carwile during the ceremony.
“The medical warehouse in Kandava, operated by SEMS, is one of several warehouses where Latvian government stores state medical stockpiles for use in cases of military, emergency and other threats. We are pleased that thanks to the U.S. Embassy Office of Defense Cooperation, the Kandava medical warehouse is modernized, to ensure the safe storage of medical equipment in times of crisis” said Dita Heiberga, Head of the SEMS Disaster Medical Center.
The Kandava Medical warehouse is the ninth Civic Engagement project implemented by ODC Latvia and SEMS. Since 2014, the Civic Engagement program has donated to SEMS 132 full-face protection masks, 3,660 liters of hand sanitizers, 16 automatic disinfectant units, two single-patient isolation and transport systems and renovated four SEMS dispatch centers, one of which in Imanta, Rīga, was completed earlier this year. The total value of these projects is $4 million.
In addition to the SEMS projects, ODC Latvia works closely with other governmental organizations such as the State Fire and Rescue Service, regional municipalities, schools, senior citizen homes, and orphanages. Since 2007, ODC Latvia has completed more than 45 individual projects with more than $11M in direct investment to the local economy as a result of using local vendors.