Local USVI News

JFL Considers Renting Generator as Additional Backup Following Weaknesses Exposed During Tropical Storm Fiona

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Officials at the Juan F. Luis Hospital are in talks over the feasibility of renting a backup generator, as the two generators at the hospital continue to require consistent maintenance and more after the passage of Tropical Storm Fiona over the territory last week.

During the most recent tropical storm Fiona, we had multiple outages with electrical power and the generators performed, but we had to do significant maintenance on them and we have to continue to do significant maintenance on them,” Douglas Koch, JFL CEO told lawmakers on the Committee on Health, Hospitals and Human Services on Friday. 

One was repaired as early as last Thursday, Mr. Koch said, explaining that maintenance personnel had to remove parts from one generator to place on the other to “make it more sustainable.”

“We’re having a conversation later today about what is the need of potentially bringing in a rental generator to support the hospital and its needs going forward,” he added, noting that to source a new generator of this size would take at least six months.  

If the hospital decides to rent a generator, which Mr. Koch insists is the best short-term option, it will provide a third backup to the JFL.

“We’ve had multiple electrical outages in the community affecting the hospital since that time where our generators have functioned as intended … They are not in good shape. We have two generators that are limping along and we are constantly working to maintain them,” he said.

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