At Milton CHEER center, Medic Station 111 has new lease on life

Sussex County Council Tuesday cast unanimous support to a lease agreement with CHEER, Inc., that will provide single medic unit service based at CHEER’s Milton activity center beginning next January. Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe

MILTON — Sussex County Emergency Medical Services is taking a cheerful approach to paramedic coverage for the greater Milton area.

Sussex County Council Tuesday cast unanimous support to a lease agreement with CHEER, Inc., that will provide single medic unit service based at CHEER’s Milton activity center beginning next January.

Council’s 5-0 vote followed a presentation on the initiative and proposed Milton Medic Station 111 lease agreement by Robert Schoonover, EMS Manager of Logistics.

“One of the EMS initiatives for this fiscal budget year of 2020 was the establishment of Advanced Life Support services in the Milton area,” said Mr. Schoonover. “Currently, we served that area from Lincoln, out of the Lincoln station, Rehoboth, Long Neck and Georgetown.”

Currently, average EMS response time to the Milton area is around 16 minutes, about double what it is as other EMS medic locations, Mr. Schoonover said.

“When we look at the data, the calls are increasing in that area,” he said. “They increased over the past six years by 28 percent.”

Plans for the Milton Medic Station 111 initiative are to start with a 12-hour daytime shift, seven days a week with a single medic unit.

“Sixty-four percent of the calls are during daytime, 7 in the morning to 7 at night,” said Mr. Schoonover.

Milton CHEER EMS station 111.

County GIS services were used to determine the proper place to place the unit, and Milton came up, Mr. Schoonover said.

CHEER is providing a room that has separate exterior access, access to bathrooms and fitness center and is adjacent to the parking spots for the medics.

“We were able to work with CHEER to acquire the space. They actually gave up some space within the CHEER center and are giving us that space in the lease and also space for a primary truck and a secondary truck to be placed there,” said Mr. Schoonover.

The lease agreement between Sussex County Council and CHEER Inc., runs from Oct. 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020, with two one-year renewal periods as per the terms and conditions of the lease.

This timeframe will allow the EMS time to gather and analyze data on placement and utilization of the unit in the Milton area.
Under the lease agreement, Sussex County will pay CHEER, Inc., $100 per month, basically to cover utility costs.

“It’s a pretty good deal for us,” said Mr. Schoonover. “We wanted to start on or before Jan. 1 (2020). I am the guy that has to get all the pieces in place to make that happen by Jan. 1. One of them was to get the lease.”

Sussex County Council president Michael Vincent made note of a weather-related issue in the agreement.

“I see are going to do the snow removal,” said Mr. Vincent.

Under the lease, as the tenant the county will be responsible for the timely removal of snow and ice from the driveway,
entrances/exits and parking areas of the entire CHEER center property.

“We’re going to do the snow removal. They (CHEER) only do snow removal during the daytime, during business hours,” Mr. Schoonover said. “What will happen, when we have a blizzard or a hurricane, is we will up-staff that unit there 24/7. So, we ought to be able to get the snow out of the way at nighttime for them.”

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