Gittens Calls For St. Croix’s Ambulances To Be Stationed At Juan F. Luis Hospital
CHRISTIANSTED — Senator Kenneth Gittens is calling for St. Croix’s ambulance services to be centrally located to ensure all residents have timely access to emergency medical care.
“The ambulances on St. Croix have been stationed at the Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital in Christiansted for some time now,” Gittens said. “In the event of a medical emergency in the Frederiksted area, the ambulance must now traverse a longer distance to provide emergency medical services. This often takes as long as 30 minutes and could result in lost valuable response time and, in a worst-case-scenario, even a preventable loss of life. As we know, every second counts!”
In a letter to Health Commissioner-Designee Justa Encarnacion, Senator Gittens requested that the ambulance dispatch be moved from Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital back to the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center, a much more central location in the event of an emergency in any area of St. Croix.
“We must continue to work toward the ultimate goal of stationing ambulances closer to our populated communities on both, the west and east, of the island,” Senator Gittens said. “However, in the meantime moving our ambulance base back to Juan Luis Hospital presents the most acceptable solution.”
Gittens said a reported medical emergency at Rainbow Beach on the west end over the weekend highlighted the need for a more rapid response time.
“We have a responsibility to provide our residents with quick and efficient medical services in the event of an emergency,” he said. “Unfortunately, if the ambulances remain stationed at the old Charles Harwood Hospital in Christiansted, those in Frederiksted remain at greater risk given the amount of time it takes for them to receive emergency assistance.”