The Department of Health is seeking public participation in the naming of the new maritime vessel that will serve as its ambulance boat. A committee -- consisting of St. John residents, Robert O’Connor, Administrator Leona Smith and an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) representative, Avon Chesterfield -- has been formed for this initiative and will take into consideration all the suggestions received before rendering a decision on the name of the ambulance boat, according to Eunice Bedminster, DOH spokeswoman.
In June 2010, Governor John P. de Jongh Jr. announced that St. Croix-based Gold Coast Yachts had been contracted to build a top-notch vessel that would improve maritime and emergency medical transport from St. John to St. Thomas. The new vessel is part of the administration’s continuing efforts to improve healthcare services on St. John. The ambulance boat is expected to be delivered by month’s end.
As March is V. I. History Month and St. John has a multitude of individuals who have served the community well in the healthcare environment, it is most fitting for the residents of St. John to have the opportunity to share their suggestions of individuals who should be honored with his/her name emblazoned on the vessel, according to Bedminster. The suggestions are not limited to names of people; all suggestions of what the vessel should be called are welcome.
“St. John has a rich history and the selection of the name that shall be worn on the new ambulance boat will reflect this notable recognition,” she said. “As we anxiously await the arrival of our newly constructed vessel, we want the community to share in our excitement, especially urging the residents of St. John to participate in this initiative.”
Residents can pick up and drop off the “Name the Ambulance Boat Suggestion Form” from Tuesday, March 15 through Thursday, March 17 at the following locations: Coral Bay Fire Station: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; The Battery: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Morris DeCastro Clinic (EMS Section): 4-8 p.m.
Suggestion forms will also be distributed to students of Gifft Hill School and Julius E. Sprauve School. Additionally, suggestion forms will be made available to senior citizens at the Human Services Centers, George Simmonds Terrace and St. Ursula’s.
Residents can also download a form from the DOH Web site at www.helathvi.org or simply e-mail suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to submit all suggestions is at 8 p.m., Thursday, March 17, and an announcement of the selected name will be made soon thereafter.