84.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, May 26, 2024


Jan. 11, 2002 – With St. John Rescue's current emergency vehicle on its last legs, the group's president, Walt Trillhaase, was pleased to learn that Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd plans to propose a bill to appropriate $150,000 for the all-volunteer organization to buy a new one.
But while $150,000 will cover the cost of a new vehicle to replace the 1986 Blazer donated several years ago by the government, Trillhaase said, he's not putting all the organization's eggs in the Senate basket. As they've always done, he said, Rescue members continue actively to raise funds to support the group's work.
"I wrote about 100 letters looking for donations," he said.
Liburd, who could not be reached for further comment, said in his letter to Karin Schesinger of the St. John Rescue Fundraising Committee that he was aware rescue squads need equipment to carry out their duties. He said he expects his bill to be "brought forward at the next legislative session."
Now 18 members strong, St. John Rescue grew from a handful of people brought together in 1995 by the late Anibal "Chickie" Morciglio, thekn the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency's deputy director for St. John. After Morciglio died of cancer in 1997, members continued the work. "We've grown tremendously," Trillhaase said.
He said the group acquired a Jaws of Life and has put it to use about half a dozen times in the last year to remove victims from wrecked vehicles. "We use it a lot when cars are turned over and go down the hill," he said. The group also has 14 radios to facilitate communication, a defibrillator to assist heart-attack victims, and first-aid kits stashed in members' homes around the island. Trillhaase said having the first-aid kits spread around allows for quick response to emergencies, no matter where their location.
St. John Rescue members serve as back-up for the government's Emergency Medical Services. They are familiar faces at emergency scenes, standing by to administer first aid until EMS personnel arrive. All of the Rescue members are certified as first responders, and several hold Emergency Medical Technician status.
Trillhaase is most proud of the fact that Rescue personnel probably saved the life of a runner in St. John's Love City Triathlon last Labor Day. He said that the runner was close to the finish when apparently dehydration did him in. After St. John Rescue gave him assistance, the man spent a week recovering in the hospital.
St. John Rescue receives no government funding. Trillhaase said the organization plans to apply for funding under the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency budget for Fiscal Year 2003.

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.