To thank the staff of Atlantic Shores Rehab & Health Center, the Millsboro police and fire departments rode by the front door Tuesday morning, with lights flashing. The procession included a firetruck, three police vehicles and the police department’s historic 1972 tan Matador, driven by Police Chief Brian Calloway.
“We wanted to make sure the residents there, that someone is recognizing that they are there doing a really good job, and also the nurses. We appreciate what they are doing for the residents,” Calloway told the Coastal Point.
The motorcade was arranged after a nurse at Atlantic Shores asked Calloway if police would be interested in showing support for the staff.
“Absolutely. It was a gesture that took just a couple minutes of our time,” the chief said.
The Matador was donated to the police department by Watson Funeral Home, whose owner bought it from a retired Millsboro police officer.
“It’s in excellent shape. We use it for parades and community events. It’s a nice-looking car. It has an old siren, the way the sirens used to look. It has a radio in it, the way it would have looked in those days,” the chief said.
There’s a video of the miniature parade on the police department’s Facebook page, with the explanation, “The Millsboro Police Department along with the Millsboro Fire Company showed our appreciation to the staff of Atlantic Shores Rehab and Health Center staff as they put themselves on the front lines each day, to care for our long-term care residents.”
The video shows the exterior of Atlantic Shores, on Washington Street, with the Matador leading the line of official vehicles. Staff members are show standing, clad in uniforms and masks, and waving.
Several people commented on the post, including one thanking police because they, too, “put your lives on the line every day of the year.”
Louanne Walls Rogers wrote that her mother is a resident there, but she hasn’t been able to visit for five weeks, so she is grateful to the staff.
Jamie Burk, assistant town manager of Millsboro, posted, “Nice job!”
Burk said he appreciates the police and fire departments “taking the time to acknowledge the staff and residents.”
“The only times I have ever been in the facility were the two times I dressed as Santa and accompanied the police department on their annual Christmas caroling,” he said.
Millsboro Fire Chief Emeritus Norman Batchelor, who died in December 2019, was once a resident at Atlantic Shores. In his obituary, he was honored for serving the fire company for 65 years and being field instructor for the Delaware State Fire School.