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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 13, 2024


The V.I. Department of Health has apparently placated emergency medical technicians on St. Croix after announcing that the government had indeed signed a contract with a private company to maintain the island’s fleet of ambulances.
On Thursday, Wingrove Creighton, president of the St. Croix EMT Association, said the approximately 20 EMTs on the island would walk off the job by Friday afternoon if the Health Department didn’t hire Hovensa subcontractor Anthony Crane to service Emergency Medical Service’s four ambulances.
According to Lee Vanterpool, Health’s public information officer, Crane has offered to service the ambulances free of charge, except for major parts. And contrary to statements made by Creighton, Vanterpool said, Acting Commissioner of Health Dr. Lucien Moolenaar signed the contract on Sept. 22.
The document must now move through the V.I. Department of Justice and the Department of Property and Procurement for approval.
"We are accepting (Anthony Crane’s) offer and getting it executed as quickly as possible so we can go ahead and get those ambulances repaired," Vanterpool said, adding that Government House was aware of the situation. "The governor is as concerned with the ambulances on St. Croix as everyone else."
In addition to purchasing such basic supplies as oxygen, tape and gloves, Creighton has said EMTs are often faced with broken-down ambulances. Within the last two weeks Emergency Medical Service managers had to twice borrow an ambulance from a private firm because all the government’s vehicles were out of order.
To compound problems, the company that has been repairing the ambulances is owed more than $20,000.
According to Gov. Charles Turnbull’s recommended fiscal year 2001 budget, the goal of the Emergency Medical Service is to purchase two ambulances, one for St. Thomas and one for St. Croix, and continue to operate two satellite stations: one in the Tutu area on St. Thomas and the other at Frederiksted Urgent Care Clinic.
Yet another goal is to have two EMTs on all transports.

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