Emergency Center Set to Open in Smyrna - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Emergency Center Set to Open in Smyrna

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SMYRNA, Del.- Lt. Eric Neeld of American Legion Ambulance 64 in Smyrna climbs into his ambulance up to 15 times a day for service calls. "Anything from a sick subject, chest pains to trouble breathing," he said.

Neeld spends much of his day driving patients to Kent General Hospital in Dover because there is not anything closer.

"It's probably an hour, hour and 15 minute turnaround time to come back into the district," Neeld said.

But not for much longer. Bayhealth is opening a 24 hour emergency center in Smyrna. With an emergency center just down the road, the response time for paramedics and patients is expected to go down, and also the cost of running an ambulance.

"A basic run just costs us around $548, so that's paying for two EMT's and mileage and the gas," said Allan Post with the American Legion Ambulance 64.

Staying in Smyrna for runs means there is less gas used and more opportunity to pick up patients.

"Every run that we miss, sadly is potential income for us but that's a person too that we're not there to help," Post said.

The company writes off between $50,000 and $70,000 each year in lost revenue for costs not covered by insurance companies.

"We don't send people to collections, so we kind of lose out sometimes on funds coming," he said.

With the new Bayhealth emergency center, Ambulance Company 64 is hoping to balance its budget and serve more people in Kent County.

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