EDITORIAL: February 11, 2005

A loved one is hurting.

There is no pool of blood, and the individual is conscious, so a call for an ambulance is probably superfluous at this point. But ... the pain. The pain, so intense as to force tears, is enough to set off alarms in one’s head and rush the person to the emergency room for immediate care.

Feel like driving 45 minutes in the middle of the night with a crying person by your side?

That story has happened to many people in this area, as the choices for care during this time of the year are Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Md., or Beebe, in Lewes. During the summer? No such problem, as the emergency facility in Millville is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. What a fantastic addition that facility has been to this community when there are so many people enjoying the glories of the beach during the vacationing season.

However ...

When looking at pure, raw numbers, it can easily be determined that this community has a demographic with a high percentage of seniors among its rolls. Thankfully, the emergency services of this community are top notch as far as emergency medical technicians and ambulances, but don’t the figures alone demand that we have access to doctors, surgeons and emergency room nurses as quickly as possible?

Admittedly, our off-season population is small compared to other communities that host emergency room facilities. But, as stated earlier, we are a community with a high demand for medical care. And, if people are going to resort to population numbers to diminish the need for emergency care in this area, isn’t it equally fair to use the numbers of money generated for the state and county from this community to justify services for the area?

We are not calling for an amusement park or public restroom to be built for Route 1. We are asking for a way to secure year-round, 24-hour emergency care for human beings.

State Rep. Gerald Hocker has brought up this issue more than once, and still no help has arrived. Maybe if we all make our voices heard, and brainstorm for ideas, we can make it a reality.

It’s important.