Letters to the Editor -- Sept. 2, 2010

Community must help MVFC with costs

The Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) meets our District’s ambulance service needs - your needs. When the company ambulances respond to your calls, you can be assured your responders are well trained and take pride in providing the best care. They are dedicated to their responsibilities and have the very best and well-maintained equipment.

You know you can depend on the MVFC ambulance services - because they have always been there when called. You have depended on them almost one thousand times so far this year when they responded to your calls.

You know about the quality of the service provided to our community. There is a lot more you should know about staffing, equipping and financing the company’s ambulance service. Read on.

? Did you know that our “volunteer” fire company has eight employees on our payroll? They are emergency medical technicians paid with company funds. They and a decreasing number of volunteer EMTs respond to your ambulance calls. The payroll must be met every payday.

? Did you know that in responding to an estimated 1400 calls in 2010, we will drive our three ambulances over 25,000 miles? These ambulances have run 207,223, 149,069 and 126,297 miles. Replacing each ambulance will cost between $180,000 and $200,000. Nothing is budgeted this year for these eventual expenditures - a difficult budgeting year.

? Did you know each ambulance call requires two trained responders and that an average ambulance call costs $450?

? Did you know that over 3,000 hours of volunteer and paid staff time will be required for ambulance service in 2010?

? Have you thought about the time these paid and volunteer EMTs spend on training? Anything less than up-to-date training would be unacceptable to you, just as it is to company leaders, volunteers and paid staff.

? Operating the company ambulance service costs over a half a million dollars per year, not including the cost of replacing ambulances. The annual costs will increase with population growth and advances in medical care technology.

If you are a recent local or a part-time resident, you may not know that our company’s only minimally funded by your taxes via state and county grant-and-aid funds. This funding has been declining in recent years.

Our company 2010 budget, including fire, emergency and ambulance services, but not including new ambulance purchases, is over $1 million. Where does this money come from? You should understand ambulance service funding.

? The biggest source of ambulance service income is billing for ambulance services, $373,000 in 2009. Persons receiving service from MVFC are billed an average of $450 for each call. Those with medical insurance are billed through their provider. Those without insurance are billed directly. If the insurance company does not reimburse billings fully, the remainder is billed directly.

? State and county grants and aid provided just over $100,000 of our ambulance service budget in 2009, $73,500 from the county and $27,300 from the state. The state contribution to the ambulance budget was one half of the $54,600 state grant to the MVFC, which was allocated to ambulance service. The balance of our budget comes from your contributions during our annual Ambulance Fund Drive and fund raising programs.

? In 2009, the Ambulance Fund Drive raised over $173,000. The fund drive makes it possible to meet our budget and plan for replacing ambulances. Unfortunately, 2010 contributions to date are about $50,000 behind 2009. If the company can’t meet fund raising goals, reductions in services may be necessary, including missed calls. Funds for replacing ambulances will not be available. High-mileage ambulances will incur increased maintenance costs and reliability issues. These are all unacceptable results of income shortfalls.

? Volunteers and paid staff work very hard for you. This includes fund-raising. The two chicken suppers held this summer after a long hiatus raised about $9,500. They also serve a bigger purpose. A special esprit comes from working together on a company project. More important, it helps us meet you and increases your awareness of the company and its work for you.

How can the Company meet the budget shortfall? We need you! Have you contributed to the company and the ambulance service this year? Have you subscribed to the ambulance service? Are you giving your share for the ambulance service, which is priceless when you or your family needs it

The Millville Volunteer Fire Company Ambulance Service needs your help. The company deserves your help. Can you give more? Please consider this and subscribe to the Ambulance Service.

Simply said, the Ambulance Service Fund Drive is about “readiness to respond.”

If you need more information or would like to purchase a $50 ambulance subscription, please contact Ambulance Supervisor Tom Moore at 539-9535 or 539-7557.

Gordon Wood
Bob Powell, PIO
Tom Moore, Ambulance Supervisor
Millville Volunteer Fire Company

Resident grateful for efforts of lifeguards

I would like to commend all the young men and women who sit on those white stands at our pools, parks and along our shorelines for the fine job they have done this summer.

As a frequent visitor to the Delaware Seashore State Park at Indian River Inlet, I would like to offer a special thank you. I am a 62- year-old male who has been bodysurfing for about 50 years. A couple of weeks ago, I got caught in a pretty strong rip. While I didn’t require rescue, I did notice there was a lifeguard in the water next to me.

Apparently, there were at least one or two guards in the water that day to assist those in need. It was very comforting to know I had a trained professional out there with me.

Thanks to all for a great summer.

Cliff Eskridge

Reader takes exception with chemist’s science

When I read Monica Scott’s piece in the Aug. 27 issue titled “Former EPA chemist taking power plant issues seriously,” it made my blood boil.

Trying to connect heart disease and cancer to the power plant in Dagsboro is the kind of stretch that gives ammunition to the Tea Party activists. Naturally, we all want clean air, and industries of all kinds should do their utmost to be sure their exhaust streams are as clean as possible.

Coal provides 50 percent of all the electricity in the U.S.A. It is affordable and reliable. Without it, our electric bills would double or triple, and think of the stress that would cause. Stress is a real killer. Also, without affordable electricity, our economy would be devastated.

My grandfather and his brothers were coal miners in Western Pennsylvania, and they all lived long and happy lives, and I feel I am speaking for them when I say I am tired of the liberal do-gooders who want all of us to ride our bicycles to work and turn off our air conditioners while they get in their big cars on their way to the airport to catch a plane for month’s vacation in Europe.

Jack McLaughlin
Ocean View

Reader: Return Bunting to Dover

I have had the pleasure of living in the 20th Senatorial district for nearly 10 years and have always supported George Bunting. While I have moved into another district, I have still been able to call on George Bunting when needed in Dover, along with my state senator, Joe Booth.

George has helped maintain our personal income taxes by not supporting or proposing increases. Sen. Bunting, being a businessman himself – he understands our economy and what businesses need to help get things jump started again.

While our State House does need some cleaning out and changing of the guard, we need to keep George Bunting. But we need to make sure we send other candidates and legislators that can work with him.

Sen. Bunting knows how to work both sides of the aisle in Dover. And, for his constituents – he resides in one part of the district and works in the other, therefore giving him a daily opportunity to always be aware of what’s going on in his district. He is certainly accessible at his place of business, which once again makes him a good choice to return to Dover.

I have to say, over the years, I have been able to rely on Sen. Bunting with business and personal matters, as needed, and he has always been there. I am strongly urging all Democrats of the 20th Senatorial district to join my friends and family of that district in voting in the primary Sept. 14 to return state Sen. George Bunting to Dover.

Scott W. Wilkins, Milton
36th District Representative and 19th Senatorial District Democratic Committee Member

Women’s club grateful for support of many

The Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach, Del., would like to thank all those who entered our 85th Anniversary Logo Contest. We had many wonderful entries that contained artistic and thoughtful designs. Our winner was Beth Lewis of Arlington, Va.

On behalf of the Club, I would like to thank the members who served on the Logo Committee: Rosemary Hardiman (chair), Regina Trodden, Edie Becker, Sondra Mueller, and myself. They established a process for this contest and carried it out in to the end. Our judges were Regina Trodden, Maureen Dzur, Nancy Palmer and myself. Thank you to these ladies for the time and thought they put into choosing our logo.

We especially want to thank the Coastal Point for their support in printing information about our contest each week. And thank you to those locations that allowed us to post our flyers and contest forms: Bethany Beach PNC Bank, Bethany Beach Post Office, the South Coastal Library, Bethany Beach Town Hall and the Farmer’s Market.

Finally, thank you to local business owners for allowing us to place our flyer in their windows. Without their help, this contest would not have been the success it was. It was a community effort.

Suzanne Evans
WCCBB President