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Our Heritage

44 Years of serving our community

On April 23, 1979, St Thomas Rescue was established as a non-profit service organization manned by volunteers and supported entirely by public donations and government grants.

St. Thomas Rescue started with only four members and was the only rescue service in the territory.

 

As an all-volunteer service, today in excess of 50 members are continuously involved in responding to calls for service, training, and working to enhance the level of service provided to the community.

 

Many members are licensed EMTs, Paramedics, and Emergency Medical Responders. Both light, and heavy extrication, search and rescue, water rescue, building collapse, and various other areas of rescue and recovery are handled by St Thomas Rescue.

In 1981, St. Thomas Rescue acquired its first heavy-duty emergency response vehicle with the help of the Rotary Club.

 

That vehicle served the organization well for the first ten years. In 1991, with one of the first government grants provided, we were able to replace that heavy-duty vehicle with the original aluminum back, which served our community well until 2006.

 

With a grant given to us again by our Government, it was replaced by the present heavy-duty vehicle, a Ford/F550 which has the same aluminum back from 1991. 

In 1981 the Sea Recovery Team became a reality thanks to a sea-worthy craft that was donated to us. It was called Recovery One.  The Sea Recovery Team has been called upon for assistance by the United States Coast Guard within the waters of St. Thomas and St. John on countless occasions.

In 1995 during Hurricane Marilyn, Recovery One was damaged beyond repair. In 2007, with another government grant, St. Thomas Rescue was able to replace the lost craft with a 32ft open Contender with two 250 Yamaha engines.

 

Today, a professional Marine/Dive Unit exists within the organization with considerable experience and knowledge of local waters, supported by a high-speed craft. It is intended to replace the existing boat with two purpose-built boats during 2023, subject to funding. 

The FAA has also requested our assistance in determining the location and recovery of downed aircraft in the waters surrounding the USVI, along with land-based aviation incidents. 

St. Thomas Rescue plays a major role in automotive crashes, particularly in cases where extrication is required. Operating the only heavy rescue vehicle on the island, which can respond to large vehicle, animal, and building collapse incidents, we take pride in training regularly and upgrading equipment as technology develops.

Our Community Education Unit offers safety education programs to the public. With CPR and First Aid classes available to the public, we are an experienced organization that can diligently and confidently deliver training programs to suit the needs of the public. 

 

During its formative years, St. Thomas Rescue operated in conjunction with and was dispatched by, the Office of Civil Defense. 

All of these goals and dreams have become realities due to the grants that we have been privileged to receive on an annual basis from our Government and in part by donations from our community.

Today, we respond to around 1,000 calls annually with a fleet of Quick Response, medium, and heavy rescue vehicles. 

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