Oct. 16, 2002 – While intermittent phone outages since Innovative Telephone workers went on strike have cause numerous inconveniences, an outage that has lasted for more than a week in St. John's Peter Bay stood in the way of timely medical help on Tuesday for one man.
"We're talking about people arguing over pensions, and now people's lives are at stake," said the villa manager at St. John Savvy, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
He said he had to make a mad dash Tuesday night to the Emergency Medical Services in Cruz Bay to get help for his client, one of 17 homeowners in the Peter Bay area. The manager said the 65-year-old man, who has a heart condition, ruptured his esophagus while vomiting. "He lost massive amounts of blood," the manager said.
After "top-notch" treatment by the island's emergency medical technicians, the manager said, the man was taken to by ambulance boat to Roy L. Schneider Hospital and was subsequently airlifted to Fort Lauderdale.
The manager pointed out that most cellular telephones do not work in Peter Bay because a Tortola service overrides them.
He also noted that it was fortunate that no problems arose at a campaign gala for Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and his running mate, Sen. Vargrave Richards, held at a Peter Bay villa on Saturday.
Thomas Dunn, spokesman for Innovative Telephone, said he wasn't aware of the Peter Bay problem and told a reporter she should have asked for the customer's service order number.
The villa manager said he reported the problem to the 912 repair number more than a week ago. "I kept calling daily, but they told me if it was already reported, I did not need to report it again," he said.
Late last week, he said, he finally reached a supervisor, who told him the problem would be fixed by Sunday. "Today is Wednesday," the manager said.
On Wednesday morning, he drove to Cruz Bay to ask the Innovative union workers walking the picket line for help. They told him they couldn't help.
Dennis Demar, whose wife, Kathy, also manages vacation villas in the Peter Bay area, said he called 912 on Tuesday to report the outage. "The message box was filled up. It said it had reached its capacity and to call the operator," he said.
He said he called the number for the operator and no one answered.
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