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Fundraiser Could Be a Matter of Life and Death for St. Johnians

A group of St. John residents have a fundraiser planned for Sunday to help send firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician Wendy Davis to get more advanced paramedic training. The fundraiser runs from 3 to 6 p.m. at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant in Coral Bay.
“It’s the perfect benefit for St. Johnians to help ourselves, and it’s the right thing to do,” said Debbie Hime, a member of the organizing committee.
Davis, who works for V.I. Fire Service, is headed to a 15-week paramedic program at a Texas A&M University school. Hime said that the Fire Service is paying her $3,000 tuition and most of her salary, but Davis will still be close to $20,000 in the hole for other expenses and loss of salary.
And when she gets her paramedic certification, she’ll only get a raise of 67 cents per hour from the Fire Service, Hime said. She estimated that it will take Davis 12.62 years to recoup what it’s costing her for her paramedic certification.
Davis is usually stationed at the Coral Bay fire station. Since it takes the ambulance about a half hour to get to Coral Bay from its base in Cruz Bay, residents and visitors in that area will be able to receive more advanced care once Davis gets her paramedic certification.
Hime and others on the fundraising committee have come up with a game-show concept that draws on “The Price is Right,” “Let’s Make a Deal” and the current hot TV show, “Minute to Win It” for the fundraiser.
While there is no charge to watch, participants are asked to make a $20 donation in order to be eligible for prizes. They can come in costume or not, depending on their preference.
Prices include items like jewelry, vacations and artwork.
The need for more paramedics on St. John is crucial. While Emergency Medical Service has five on its roster, all come from St. Thomas and are eligible for retirement, Hime said. A St. John-based paramedic belongs to the all-volunteer St. John Rescue, but Hime said that person has a full-time job with the V.I. National Park and can only volunteer when he’s not working.
If the Sunday fundraiser generates more money than Davis needs, the remainder will stay with the St. John Paramedic Expenses fund to help anyone else who wants to get paramedic certification. All donations are tax deductible. Make checks payable to the St. John Revolving Fund with a notation Wendy Davis.
Cash donations are accepted. Additionally, the committee needs more raffle gifts. Please drop off donations and prizes Connections in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay, Windspree Vacation Homes in Coral Bay or Savant Media Group in Cruz Bay’s Lumberyard shopping complex.
Visit www.wearelovecity.com for more information.

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