83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 18, 2024


First it was teachers, then police officers, firefighters and corrections officers. Now Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has heard from emergency medical technicians on St. Croix who are dissatisfied with their working conditions.
At a groundbreaking ceremony in Christiansted’s Sunday Market Square on Tuesday, a contingent of EMTs confronted Turnbull. As the governor listened, Wingrove Creighton, president of the St. Croix EMT Association, rattled off a list of problems facing the island’s 20 EMTs.
"We take our lives in our own hands when we go out without proper safety supplies," Creighton said. "We’re asking for essentials for us to save lives."
EMT crews often spend their own money to purchase such basic supplies as oxygen, tape and gloves, he said. Of the island’s four ambulances, only two are currently operational, he noted, and those two have mechanical problems.
Turnbull told Creighton to give his name and telephone number to St. Croix administrator Rupert Ross so that the EMTs could detail their grievances. "I’m going to look into it to solve the situation," Turnbull said without making any specific promises.
"If you don’t respond," said an unconvinced Creighton, "you’ll hear from us again."
After police officers lodged complaints earlier this month, Turnbull said they were third on his list of priorities, after teachers and health personnel.
Last week, firefighters joined members of the St. Croix and St. Thomas Police Benevolent Associations, the Law Enforcement Supervisors Union, and officers from the Bureau of Corrections and Planning and Natural Resources as part of the newly formed Public Safety Coalition.
The aim of the group is to press the administration for unpaid pay raises and for increased funding for equipment and supplies.
As of Tuesday afternoon, it was unclear whether the EMT Association would join the coalition, even though their demands are similar.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.