Most of us, most of the time, live in blissful ignorance of what a small, well-trained effective and dedicated group of neighbors and friends are doing for us — night and day, good weather and bad. As we go about our daily lives, the members of the Millville Volunteer Fire Company are doing something for us which can be dangerous and requires that dedication and time — and doing it well.
The firemen and emergency medical technicians (EMTS) are volunteers acting bravely and well on behalf of each and every one of us. The top-notch fire equipment and ambulances are staffed with well-trained, effective and dedicated responders who provide effective emergency services. They care. They meet our needs. They protect property and save lives — our lives.
You don’t hear a lot about the fireman and EMTs, so you don’t think about them often, but they are always there for us. For the members of the Millville Volunteer Fire Company are always ready to respond for us. Think about them now, what these volunteers do for us.
--They answered 321 fire alarms last year — at all times of day and night
--They responded to 1,756 ambulance calls last year;
--They spent 9,324 man (and woman) hours on fire calls;
--They spent 4,199 man (and woman) hours on ambulance calls;
--They spent countless hours and days training in firefighting, emergency medical care and waterbased lifesaving;
--They spent countless hours (thousands) in the behind-the-scenes jobs of administration, raising money; and equipment procurement and maintenance.
Think further about this: a near miss? A near miss is a situation where a volunteer could be lost. There were three near misses last year during the townhouse fire in Cedar Neck. Three volunteers entered a burning building to look for “buddies” missing for a while. These heroes, and they are all heroes, could have been lost. A combination of training, leadership and luck brought them out. Had it gone the other way, we would all still be thinking about them.
Not only does the company provide fire and ambulance services for the Millville district, but it also provides ambulance services for the Bethany Beach district (the Inlet to Fenwick Island). In fact, an ambulance is based in Bethany Beach in the summer season.
Think about what they do. They are volunteers. Think also about one of their responsibilities — fundraising. The annual campaign and special functions are significant, time-consuming and sometimes thankless responsibility. As you think about what they do, think about what you can do to help them help us.
I write this from a privileged perspective — a social member who volunteers to provide non-line assistance to the company. I get to attend the twice-a-month meetings of the company and see the dedication and hard work of these volunteers. They impress me.
When their trucks and ambulances go out the firehouse doors to serve you, you can depend on their knowing their job and doing it with dedication and with the very best and well-maintained equipment. You should be giving them the greater level of your support they deserve. Do you? Think about it.
Gordon E. Wood Sr.