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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeCommentaryOpen forumOpen forum: To the Rescue

Open forum: To the Rescue

St. John Rescue logo (file photo)

Holiday greetings from the members of St. John Rescue.  We are thankful to have made it through another hurricane season unscathed.  Memories of Irma and Maria are still vivid in our minds, and there are still eerie reminders on our island of the destruction those storms unleashed.

Fortunately, we are much better prepared for another disaster than ever before. All agencies have been working together with VITEMA to make sure that another major event will not destroy our ability to bounce back.

On the third Wednesday of each month from 5:30-6:30 p.m., a group of concerned St. Johnians meet to discuss issues that affect us on a regular basis.  Members from the community, civic organizations, churches, government and [the] police department regularly attend these informal meetings and work with each other to help make our lives here on St. John more pleasant.

If you noticed the comment cards at the ferry dock, they were placed there and are maintained by the CIT.  We frequently receive helpful comments from travelers as they are leaving island. In addition, we sponsor events that focus on our youth such as bicycle safety events, the summer youth program, and police officer appreciation events.  Please try to take one hour per month to attend one of these meetings, which are held at the St. John Rescue headquarters on Gifft Hill Road (at the fork in the road).

Fortunately, there have been very few rescue calls during October and November.  On Oct. 28, we were called to Cocoloba for a male who was injured, and on Nov. 4 we were dispatched to the Cruz Bay area for a female who was severely injured.

Our CPR and First Aid classes have resumed with an emphasis on “blended learning,” which is a combination of online classes and in-person practical skills testing at our station.  The people who have taken these classes are quite pleased with the ability to take the online part at their leisure at home.  This system is a great way of limiting person to person contact.

The practical testing is limited to 6 students and each student is spaced at least 6 feet from other students.  As long as COVID is a factor, we will continue with this system.  If you are interested in learning CPR and/or First Aid, please contact Kris Robinson at St. John Rescue to set up your class and testing dates.  Our number is 693-7377.

To date we have tested several church groups, business persons, and have scheduled the police officers who serve St. John to take the CPR course.  Once they complete the course and the testing, we will give the police department AEDs that the trained officers can carry with them while on patrol.  This fact will greatly increase a person’s chance of surviving a heart attack since the police travel the island constantly.

And now for the big announcement.  Nov. 27, 2021, will mark St. John Rescue’s 25th anniversary.  This organization was founded on that date in 1996 when a group of concerned citizens gathered together to form a life-saving rescue squad.  Chicky Morsiglio was the driving force that got the organization going.  With the dedication and hard work by Bruce Fagan, Valerie and Walt Trilhaase, Janice Bauer, Elmo Rabsatt, Darrell Tasman, Godwin Sprauve and Lindy Tatreau, St. John Rescue was born and has been thriving ever since.  Over the past 25 years, we have had more than 100 volunteers working with us.  It is with their volunteer efforts that this organization has grown into a dynamic life-saving rescue squad.

The celebration to honor the founders and all those who volunteered over the years will be held on Dec. 9 at St. John Rescue headquarters from noon to 5 p.m.  It will be catered by Shaibu.  We encourage everyone to stop by to see our new building and to chat with the volunteers.

I hope to see you there on Dec. 9.

Health Tip:  If you encounter someone experiencing a diabetic issue try to get as much information from them as possible regarding their current situation including information from a medic alert device.  If the person is conscious and alert, they may need sugar.  So offering them a soda or preferably some fruit juice could greatly assist them.  Do not give anyone who is not alert anything to eat or drink as this may cause choking.  If in doubt always call 911. 340-776-9110 from a cell phone.

Bob Malacarne NR-EMT, St. John

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