ViewPoint

Towns, MVFC come to agreements on EMS fees

Both the Millville and Ocean View town councils voted unanimously this week to begin drafting agreements to charge every household in their respective municipalities a $35 ambulance fee, to benefit the Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC).

Though, to be fair, the fees will benefit the people and businesses of those towns, as much as the fire company.

The new monies should allow the MVFC to have two EMS crews on-call, around the clock. Under the current system, the MVFC has a single night crew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and if that unit is dispatched, a volunteer-staffed ambulance can be called in to help on another call. But, obviously, that takes time to get the volunteer group going — precious time that could come too late in some cases where every second counts.

“If you can’t breathe, six or seven minutes is a long time,” said John Watson, the EMS chief at MVFC. “We’re trying to reduce the amount of time it takes us to get to the first two patients.”

The fee will include every “improved property” in town limits, meaning every built house and business. Empty lots will not be charged at this time.

The fee will also provide a bit of a parachute for residents in terms of cost in case of an emergency. After charging a patient’s health insurance for an ambulance transport, which averages $850, MVFC waives the balance for any participant. Those without a subscription must pay the balance.

This is not entirely new, as many of the beach towns have been on board with this kind of subscription for several years now. It puts cash in the hands of our first-responders so they can improve services, and provides a little peace of mind to anyone who finds themselves on the bad side of an expensive ambulance ride.

These agreements could save lives. And that’s what matters most.

Point of no return:

Too many ludicrous interesting topics to cover

Date Published: 
February 12, 2016

There are weeks that I sit down at my computer, stare at the blank screen looking back at me and half-wonder if maybe the stars and gods have aligned against me.

For all the random thoughts that spin through this muddled mind every week, there are times when none of them come to the forefront when it’s actually time to sit down and pen this small piece of hot garbage brilliant commentary.

Of course, there are other times when there are simply too many things going on around us, and trying to pick one topic on which to focus my attention and insipid keen insight seems a futile endeavor. So, since this is one of those weeks that I can’t pare down my drivel column, let’s take a look at several issues.

• Watching Peyton Manning smile through a shower of confetti as he conducted his post-Super Bowl interview on the field last Sunday night was a memory I will file away for some time. Watching Peyton Manning throw a football Sunday was something I hope fades away with time, as I want very badly to remember him for the precise, accurate throws of his prime, rather than the wounded ducks less-than-impressive passes that were coming out of his hand this year.

Manning has been an all-time great throughout his storied career, and has matched his on-the-field prowess with a sense of professionalism and class off the field that is without peer. If this was indeed his “last rodeo,” I thank him for the memories.

• Indian River High School officials reportedly heard from a few students that another student was armed with a knife and a gun on Monday, Feb. 8. According to reports, they notified the authorities, the classroom the student was scheduled to be in at the time was evacuated and the student searched. State police reportedly found a knife in the student’s boot and a pellet gun in his backpack, and he was subsequently arrested.

As an outsider looking in, it appears the school — and, in turn, the district — had a plan in case a possible situation arose, and they put that plan into action immediately and decisively. Really, what else could you ask for or expect?

• On the surface, Donald Trump appears to be a racist sexist xenophobic blowhard orange carnival barker opportunist entitled spoiled over-priviledged vacuous character.

All that being said, I believe most of this hot air is an act, and he is capitalizing on a lot of anger people are feeling today in this country to put himself in position to win the White House. Many political candidates, particularly on the national stage, say whatever it takes to win, and I stopped truly believing in what the majority of them have/had to say a very long time ago. But I do feel sad over what is taking place in this election, and perhaps we’re getting a more lucid look as to what is really going through Americans’ minds right now as we see the polling results.

Yikes.

• I watched a local woman stand up for a stranger who was getting verbally attacked the other day, and it made my heart feel good. She did it with grace and class, and offered encouragement to the stranger. I stay away from religious statements in this space, as I do not personally believe in pushing my faith on others, but it was the epitome of “the Christian thing to do.”

The woman who did this received my thanks and appreciation, and I don’t wish to embarrass her by naming her here for something I believe she did just because she thought it was the right thing to do. But, man, she is a special lady in my book.

• I was excited for the first snowfall of the year this winter to see how my daughter would react. Then I was eagerly anticipating the next one after watching how much fun she had with her first experience. I’m good now. Is it spring yet?

• The Coastal Point hit our 12-year anniversary last week, and it got us to reminiscing a little bit around the office. One part of the conversation was about people who provided us a lot of encouragement and support when we started. Restaurateur Matt Haley was one of those people, and we were very sad to lose his light in 2014. Another one was Jim Gallant, who recently passed at the end of January.

Jim worked for years at WMAL radio station in Washington D.C. and spent his retirement time here as a master of volunteerism. Susan Lyons and I had many wonderful conversations with Jim and his wife, Eileen, who sadly passed in 2010, and they were great supporters of what we were trying to do here. It’s heart-breaking to lose good people, but we won’t forget the lessons and advice they shared with us from the start. Rest in peace, my friend.

• I have finally come to accept that I am middle-aged. This isn’t a bad thing, and I hope I know more going into this half than the first one. I just hope I don’t make as many boneheaded exuberant mistakes as the first half.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor — February 12, 2016

Fear and loathing weren’t always part of our political discourse

Editor:

On Feb. 3, 2016, President Obama visited a mosque in the U.S. for the first time in his seven-year presidency. He began his address by saying “thank you” to Muslim-Americans for “serving your community … lifting up the lives of your neighbors, and for helping keep us strong and united as one American family.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, who identifies himself as the ‘neo-establishment presidential Republican candidate, responded to the president’s visit the same day: “I’m tired of being divided against each other for political reasons like this president’s done, always pitting people against each other. Always. Look at today: he gave a speech at a mosque. Oh, you know, basically implying that America is discriminating against Muslims. Of course there’s discrimination in America, of every kind. But the bigger issue is radical Islam.”

If only Sen. Rubio had taken the time to read the president’s address. If only this “moderate” candidate had chosen not to use the fear factor to try to scare and divide us. If only he hadn’t been so cavalier in acknowledging prejudice in this country.

If only today’s establishment Republicans were more like President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Almost 60 years ago, at the dedication of the Islamic Center in Washington, he said, “ I should like to assure you, my Islamic friends, that under the American Constitution … and in American hearts … this place of worship is just as welcome … as any other religion.

I can only wonder what kind of political discussion we would be having if Marco Rubio was more like President Eisenhower.

Joanne Cabry, Chair
Progressive Democrats of Sussex County

Keeley responds to previous letter

Editor:

I am writing to comment Lloyd E. Elling’s letter to Rep. Gray published in the Feb. 4 Coastal Point.

Let me start by saying I applaud Rep. Gray’s courageous vote. On the night before the vote, I, a large group of right-thinking neighbors, Rep. Gray and Gerald Hocker attended a 38th District Republican Club PAC meeting where the police chiefs from four neighboring communities and a state trooper were guest speakers.

Someone asked them their position on the pending death-penalty vote. The unanimous response was that they hoped it did not pass. They supported their position by noting today’s anti-police climate and stated that they feel that when they are on duty there is a bullseye on their backs. They believe the death penalty is a major deterrent to violence against the police. And I agree with them!

But even before that meeting I supported the death penalty based on what I believe is the accurate translation of the 6th Commandment, which is, “You shall not murder”! I do not consider a duly earned execution as a murder!

You express concern over the execution of an innocent. Many others and I are also concerned with this possibility. However, we live in the modern world of forensic investigation, and I believe that the errors of the past are much less likely to happen today.

Mr. Elling, I am a 78-year-old man born during the second World War. We both have seen the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as our recent encounters in the Middle East, and now we even see terrible carnage in our streets. Considering all of this, I cannot comprehend how anyone can be a pacifist! But I wish you well with it!

I offer one final comment: I am always conflicted when I try to understand the mind of those in our society on the left who are so against the death penalty but support abortion. How can they so blithely defend life on one hand and totally discard it on the other?

Thomas M. Keeley III
Ocean View