BVI News

Considerations being made to purchase water ambulance for Anegada

Google image of a water ambulance.

Government is exploring the possibility of purchasing a water ambulance to service residents of Anegada.

Premier Andrew Fahie gave that indication during the 2019 Standing Finance Committee (SFC) deliberations that were held in April.

He had requested information on the matter after the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Petrona Davies, suggested that a purpose-built water ambulance would be an ideal mode of emergency transportation when persons on Anegada need to be taken to Peebles Hospital on the main island of Tortola.

The Permanent Secretary said a water ambulance would cost about $400,000.

Meanwhile, CEO of the BVI Health Services Authority, Dr Ronald Georges, had reportedly told the SFC there were past efforts to build helipads on the relatively far-away sister island.

He, however, noted that having helipads would be virtually pointless without an available helicopter on the island.

Dr Georges further described the matter as a vexing issue considering that the question of how to transport persons to Tortola has been extensively longstanding.

Sister islands resident and government legislator Shereen Flax Charles, who prompted the entire discussion, described the way sick persons are transported off Anegada as ‘very disheartening’.

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30 Comments

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  1. Retired says:

    Don’t purchase an inflatable ambulance like in the photo!!! Purchase any type of power catamaran that is a stable platform at sea. The wave piercer power cats like the water taxis from St. Thomas and some of the BVI diveboats are good examples of fast, stable seaworthy vessels.

    Like 31
    Dislike 1
    • Jane says:

      Wouldnt it be wonderful if the charter association could provide a vessel? It would be a fantastic way of paying back to the community (seeing as companies do not pay any tax on income unlike most countries).

      Like 8
      Dislike 8
    • Mr Shovels says:

      Calm down its just a photo. nobody in their right mind would put a sick person on that to come down from Anegada… at least I hope not

      Like 4
      Dislike 2
    • funny says:

      that never cross the channel, the Rhib you see should have inside a stabiliser stretcher that moves in rough weather to keep the patient comfortable, cats are not.

    • CW says:

      Did they say that? Nope. Stop borrowing trouble when you don’t have any FACTS

  2. hmm says:

    $400k for a rib with a shed on? Where are they shopping? SMH

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • CW says:

      They didn’t say they were buying anything from this picture and if you knew ANYTHING ABOUT BOATS you’d know that a 400k price isn’t what’s in the picture.

      Like 1
      Dislike 5
  3. VI gyal says:

    Purchasing one our two decent helicopters would be more beneficial especially for crucial cases. If it is not too urgent then transport by boat ambulance. I think the helicopter will be quicker in the urgent and critical cases.

    Like 27
    Dislike 3
    • Ausar says:

      “VI Gyal”, I concur!

      With serious types of injuries, a fast ferry cannot be the sole option of transport!

      Hopefully, the officials are on the same level of understanding as to the seriousness of this issue!

    • Avalon says:

      Yep, get an SAR/AA helicopter, then the whole territory and beyond can benefit not just Anegada.
      https://associationofairambulances.co.uk/
      http://bristowgroup.com/uk-sar/

    • CW says:

      Helicopters require pilots (Google their salary average) and mechanics. Helicopters have equal amounts flight and maintenance time. Super unaffordable and an ongoing expense. Helicopters cost WAY MORE than boats and can’t operate in weather like boats can(to a point). Medevac choppers already get sent in bad situations from USVI or even Miami. This is for regular usage. Helicopters are not for regular usage unless you got Branson $$$

      Like 2
      Dislike 6
  4. We have pilots says:

    They are qualified helicopter pilots around, why not ask the rich on the outside islands to offer up their helicopter or assist during these emergency calls. We have one helicopter on a hill side currently, a white one from the VG billionaire and the one owned by a group of them on the outside private islands that always buzz from st thomas.

  5. Just my thought says:

    I think it would be better to invest the money which will be money well spent on a MEDA VAC HELICOPTER that will service Tortola and her sister Islands. All they would have to do is have a spot where the Helicopter can touch down.

    Like 11
  6. One eye fowl cock says:

    While at it who is paying for the shipping registry boat at nanny cay boat yard since 2015 stop waste tax payers money trying to turn that vessel into an ambulance

  7. FIX says:

    Pockwood Pond

  8. strupes says:

    Where is the trauma center that was donated ? Take it over there !

  9. Really? says:

    Have they considered that:

    – They need a crew for the boat 24/7?

    – This crew needs some time off so at the end they will need about 3 crews.

    – Mechanics and maintenance?

    I believe this will cost a lot and at the end will not work. Unfortunately…

    • CW says:

      And strupes want to get a helicopter, which has these same expenses only 5x to 10x. Birds require WAAAAAY MORE maintenance than any watercraft.

      Like 1
      Dislike 6
  10. E. Leonard says:

    Undoubtedly, during a medical emergency, all residents of the VI, ie, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada……..etc must have rapid, proper and effective access to medical care. There must be quick access to emergency medical care whether you live on Tortola or VG or JVD or Anegada…….etc; one’s address shouldn’t determine the access level of care.

    Thus, the availability of a water ambulance with on board/en route medical care is a good first start in equalizing access. Additionally, a territory-wide air ambulance service should be explored and established.

    Moreover, to shorten the trip and expedite the care for Anegada residents needing emergency medical services, the medical facilities on Virgin Gorda should be upgraded for intaking emergency medical patients from Anegada.

    Further, in the 21st Century, emergency medical services in the territory should be top notched. I was born on and lived on the sister island of Cooper Island where government transport to Tortola for emergency services was nonexistent. God was looking over us, for none of my 13 siblings had to rushed to Tortola for emergency medical services. If any of us had to, it would have been probably stressful, challenging……..etc experience. It is not a question if water and air ambulance services but when the services will be rolled out.

    • VI gyal says:

      Thank you and well said. Set of non thinkers we have amongst us who quick to talk. Everything has a great cost. These are things we need.

    • Diaspora says:

      “Thus, the availability of a water ambulance with on board/en route medical care is a good first start in equalizing access.” Indeed, whether it is water ambulance or air ambulance or vehicle ambulance, it should be staffed with either an EMT or paramedic. Further, ambulances with EMT/paramedic(s) should be strategically placed around the territory, not just in Road Town. They can be located at fire stations given that fire stations are manned 365/24/7. It is not a good practice for an ambulance to routinely having to leave Road Town, travel to the farthest point, pick patient and then return to Road Town. In emergency medical situations, time is critical so the sooner medical treatment can be started the better.

  11. Solution says:

    Either – a police helicopter to patrol our waters AND offer emergency assistance

    OR – pay VISAR $400k in return for ad hoc transportation to hospital (VISAR have 24/7 EMTs and capable boats)

  12. CW says:

    STRUPES ARE DESTROYING YOUR FUTURE.

    THIS IS WHY BVI IS DYING.

    THIS IS A FANTASTIC IDEA AND YOU LOT ARE UPSET OVER A PICTURE IN THE NEWS. THE NEWS WHICH NEVER USES GOOD PICTURES. IF THIS SAVES ONE LIFE ITS WORTH EVERY PENNY BUT YOU LOT WHINING ABOUT WANTING THE CHARTER INDUSTRY TO PAY. THE CHARTER INDUSTRY THAT CREATES MORE JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH THAN NEARLY ANY OTHER SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY. NOTHING IS EVER GOOD ENOUGH AND YET YOU DO NOTHING BUT B*TCH ONLINE OR SIT UNDER TREES AND B*TCH THERE.

    SAVE SOME LIVES AND THINK BIGGER THAN YOUR KEYBOARD STRUPES

    GROW UP OR PERISH BVI

    Dislike 14
    • @CW says:

      Why this racist cracker don’t ask the charter industry to stop paying slave wages, pay a livable wage, promote job training and advancement and, while you are at it, stop spouting prejudice, racial degredation and hatred for our people.

      Meanwhile, do provide the statistics that the industry create more jobs and economic growth than any othr sector.

      Provide also, data on the amount of Black/local upper management personell, and demonstrate that their salary is on par with their white counter parts. I dare you!.

      Perhaps if the charter industry were fair in its hiring, promoting and wage salary pay scales, we would not be sitting under tress complaining.

      So go and continue to desparage ue from your couch. You will always remain what you are, a very miserable, hatefilled paramecium. Do relocate to the sun. You will not find us there.

      Like 7
      Dislike 4
  13. Richgdgy says:

    Why not an ER trained Doctor to live on the island.These great people could sure use a DR.

  14. Huh says:

    Buy a second Predator my my that boat fast ohhh

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