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Leaked gov’t report shows abysmal state of emergency services on Sister Islands

- Jost van Dyke was still without ambulance @ time report was published
Persons interviewed included Supervisors of Fire and Rescue Department on each sister island. Photo: Facebook
Photo of Virgin Gorda. While residents of the Sister Islands of Anegada, Jost van Dyke and Virgin Gorda have been complaining about poor emergency service, a leaked document on an assessment conducted by the Deputy Governor’s office has shed some light on the extent of the issue. Photo: VINO/File
Photo of Virgin Gorda. While residents of the Sister Islands of Anegada, Jost van Dyke and Virgin Gorda have been complaining about poor emergency service, a leaked document on an assessment conducted by the Deputy Governor’s office has shed some light on the extent of the issue. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – While residents on the Sister Islands of Anegada, Jost van Dyke and Virgin Gorda have been complaining about poor emergency service, a leaked document on an assessment conducted by the Deputy Governor’s office has shed some light on the extent of the issue.

In the January 3, 2023, report titled ‘Medical and Emergency Response on the Sister Islands’ and prepared by the Sister Islands Unit in the Office of the Deputy Governor, the document-seen by our newsroom- lists a barrage of issues on the islands as it relates to emergency services. 

Several departments & units interviewed

Among those interviewed in 2022 were Departments, units, and organisations, including the District Officers on each main sister island, Supervisors of Fire and Rescue Department on each sister island, Representatives from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Representatives from Health Services Authority, Business owners – Hospitality-based, VISAR and community members.

Issues uncovered included the lack of staffing, as all entities spoke to a need for adequate staffing. Some departments were found to be working with less than a skeleton staff and were not being given the support they need to carry out their duties.

Departments also complained about a lack of supplies and equipment and having to wait one to two months for critical supplies needed to carry out duties.

“Specifically, Jost van Dyke is without an ambulance, which is quite critical for an island with a high elderly population and a high influx of tourists," the report noted. 

The assessment also found that the average sister island resident does not have a full understanding of the process that should be taken after clinical assessment or even which number to call for EMT assistance. “Additionally, with the amount of tourists that visit the Sister Islands, it is important that communities are fully aware of steps,” it said.

No established process - Report 

It also found that there is no established process or course of action for emergency response on the sister islands of Jost van Dyke and Anegada and that while there is a process for Virgin Gorda, the process is flawed and filled with operational challenges that must be remedied. 

“Unfortunately, at the time of this report, statistics were not available with the number of transfers that were done in 2022, or the number of ambulance calls that were received. Additionally, most residents opt to use their own connections and resources to get loved ones transported to the main island of Tortola.”

The report added that there have been several noted incidences over the course of the year where much harm was done due to the waiting hours for medical evacuation.

16 Responses to “Leaked gov’t report shows abysmal state of emergency services on Sister Islands”

  • bvibuzz (23/01/2023, 09:16) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
    What a shame the unity government must go!
  • HMMM (23/01/2023, 09:25) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
    The Governor has failed the public service.
  • asura (23/01/2023, 09:28) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
    they care nothing about the sister islands Vicent and flax-charles run out of ideas and energy.
  • urgent attention too (23/01/2023, 09:36) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    yes Jost van dyke needed a full medical center and fully equip ASAP
  • My Take (23/01/2023, 09:53) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    The huge money the Governor took to get staff for his office should have been assigned to address these issues. Shame on him.
  • Gadaman (23/01/2023, 09:56) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
    This suspose to be the 3rd wealthiest country in the Caribbean?This place is a joke.
  • asking for a friend (23/01/2023, 10:51) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    vino you all have all the inside information where is the story on the police penning law suit against the commissioner?
    • Which officers (23/01/2023, 14:41) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Because as far as I know from my sources there are at least 4 officers with pending law suits against the COP and the reason why most of the senior officers or COP has a carefree attitude because they are not the ones paying but the tax payers!
      If they were being surcharged( meant to pay ) you would see a whole type of attitude change
  • stinky (23/01/2023, 11:06) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    So turd world
  • Hold the correct person responsible! (23/01/2023, 11:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not only the Governor has failed the public service but also the police force. Imagine many senior police officers were known to be retiring for more than five years in advance and no succession planning was done by the UK Commissioner of Police & the Governor who is over the police force. I guess this was by design to use in justifying the need for Uk senior officers to be employed to take over the force as part of the full master plan for overall take over of the BVI. Doing wrong to get what you think is right is still wrong.
  • Drew (23/01/2023, 12:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The corruption and dysfunction of the BVI never cease to amaze me.
  • RDA (23/01/2023, 13:06) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    What is the RDA's role?
  • Loose mouth (23/01/2023, 13:20) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    This should not be "leaked " or a secret it is a known fact that emergency services on our Sister Islands needs immediate attention. This has been going on for years with little attention from sitting Governments. I am not too sure they have an emergency plan for Tortola in the event of a multi-casualty situation. With dozens of tourists from cruise
    ships and school children traversing our roads daily (especially those going up or down the mountains) I wonder what would happen in the event of such incidents.
  • Shameful (23/01/2023, 20:55) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    So this is a report from Sister Islands Unit in Deputy Governor's office ? And knowing the persons that work there I am pretty sure this was not a short one or single one but probably one of many. So who should be accountable here for not taking action? Ministers? Permanent secretaries? Deputy Governor? Governor? Who? People need answers. We need representation. No island should have to pay taxes and be bombarded with all these laws and regulations when the people cannot even get basic needs met like medical care and adequate educational facilities. so lemme get this straight. Most of the tourism revenue is due to the Sister Islands and their attractions right? Money flowing into the economy huh. But if one of the children, or seniors or one of the same tourists we boasting about having fall down and need medical care and needs to get to the hospital, they may have to wait for hours? Or maybe till next day? Or be bounced around on a boat on the rough seas? you all joking right? And we boast that we are who? what? Let's get real. Action and change is needed
  • What does this say? (24/01/2023, 08:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do we need any more evidence of Tortola’s disdain for sister islands?


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