Selbyville VFC jumps on Web wagon


In what has become a growing trend for towns, fire departments and other organizations locally and nationally, the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company recently launched a seemingly all-inclusive Web site.

Although the company has maintained its own site for at least three years, according to SVFC Board President Howard Pepper, the new spot at www.selbyville88.com will be more helpful for the company and the public.

“It’s basically like a news-information link for the community,” Pepper said. “It cuts back on people calling the fire house wanting information on history, pictures of the trucks, pictures of the fire. It’s a lot better than what we had.”

On the Selbyville site, anyone can find information on the company’s history, its officers, how to volunteer, or how many calls officials respond to monthly or yearly.

Someone visiting the site now, for instance, can see that the company responded to 133 fire and 353 EMS calls in 2005. To date in 2006 — excluding August’s statistics, which have not yet been posted on the site — the company has responded to 87 fire and 177 EMS calls. Some 16 of those fire calls and 33 of the EMS ones were responded to in July alone, the site says.

Next to the statistics, officials updating the Web site post pictures and descriptions of the calls. And just above those stats, there is a calendar of upcoming meetings and events. A history of the company sits just beyond a link on top of the page, as do descriptions of training and photo galleries. Contact information can be found just under the “Run Statistics” on the left side of the page, and pictures of the officers will soon be posted underneath their names beyond the link.

Selbyville Fire Chief Robert Eckman — who admitted that he is personally not very computer-savvy — said that it is a good public-service outreach tool for the company.

“I think it’s a good thing for the public and the town,” Eckman said. “They can see some of the things that we do, pretty much what the fire department is about.”

At least 18 other emergency services organizations in Sussex County — including local fire companies such as Millville, Roxana, Dagsboro and Bethany Beach — either maintain Web sites or piggy-back off of other organizations, according to a list of links found at www.delawareontheweb.com.

Millville Volunteer Fire Company has had a comprehensive Web site similar to the new Selbyville spot for more than two years, according to Graig Temple, the fire chief there.

He agreed with Eckman and Pepper, saying that it is good for public outreach and helps immensely for things such as fundraisers, other events and as a visual representation of what the company does.

“It’s basically a public-relations type tool. We’re able to advertise what we actually do for the community. A lot of people don’t realize we’re up at 2, 3, 4 o’clock in the morning. It helps a lot by having a visual that they can go to.”