Ambulance service starts

The “Big Four” began its new ambulance coverage on Wednesday, Dec. 31, and this can only be a good thing for the entire community.

The Big Four of Bethany Beach, South Bethany, Fenwick Island and Sea Colony began plans for the new ambulance coverage after the Millville Volunteer Fire Company stated that it could no longer provide coverage along the coast because of the increased strain on the department with growth in the inland towns.

This is not a cheap operation. Officials said that the new ambulance service will cost about $550,000 a year to operate. State and county funds have already accounted for nearly $255,000, and a fee of about $40 a household in the district is required to maintain the service.

However, it is vitally important that this got done.

The strain on the Millville company is real. It is an incredibly devoted and professional service, but eventually the sheer logistics involved would have resulted in a tragedy down the line. There was just way too much demand on one unit.

Also, it’s important to remember that the new ambulance service is starting out the right way — with an experienced and able staff of EMTs that can provide outstanding coverage from day one of the new unit.

“By and large, we’re very happy we have a mature and highly experienced group,” said Bob Minutoli, of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Co. “The seven members that we selected are, without a doubt, among the best out there.”

Local traffic patterns — particularly in the summer months — suggest that having ambulance service along the beach is a necessary thing. As Minutoli pointed out, the peace of mind alone that people in need are going to get fast, professional help is enough of a reason to start this unit.

This will also enable the Millville department to focus on its area, which in turn will help the entire community.

Hats off to those who made this possible.