EMS Medic 101 renews lease in Lincoln

LINCOLN — Medic 101, Sussex County Emergency Medical Services’ Lincoln-based paramedic unit, has a new lease on life.

Sussex County Council Tuesday unanimously approved a five-year lease renewal with the Lincoln Community Hall Inc. that keeps Medic 101 stationed at its prime location near U.S. 113.

“We’ve been there since 1992,” said Robert L. Schoonover, EMS manager of logistics. “The data still says that this is the place for us to have that medic unit” which provides 24/7 coverage to Milford, Ellendale, Milton and east of Greenwood.

Sussex County Council Tuesday approved a lease renewal for EMS Medic Station 101 based at the Lincoln Community Hall. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

The lease is for Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2025 with a six-month opt-out provision. It’s a monthly fee of $1,307.31 with a 5 percent annual increase. The previous lease had a 3 percent annual increase. The additional increase is to help the Lincoln Community Hall offset the $12,000 it spent this past year to asphalt/pave the parking lot and the station’s garage apron.

“We wanted to help offset them because we are really their primary income for that community hall there in Lincoln,” said Mr. Schoonover.

This lease renewal comes as work has begun on the new Medic 110 base along U.S. 13 north of Seaford.

In August, Sussex County Council approved a lease agreement with CHEER, Inc., that will provide medic services based out of CHEER’s Milton activity center beginning January 2020.

All that activity is part of Sussex EMS’s 10-year plan for primary coverage zones and station locations.

In October, county council accepted the low bid for demolition of an existing structure on county-owned property between U.S. 13 and U.S. 13A that will be the EMS base for new Medic 110/EMS 200 Station, which will relocate from its leased facility in Blades.

The new Medic 110 will be only a few miles from Medic 107, which is housed in the Delaware State Police Troop 5 public safety complex on U.S. 13 just south of Route 404 in Bridgeville.

County Councilman Irwin G. Burton III suggested the new lease agreement include a right of first refusal should the Lincoln property go on the market.

“If that is the right place and they sell it,” said Mr. Burton. “I think it’s just good business if that is the right place for us,” said Mr. Burton.

“I don’t think they are that far along,” said Mr. Schoonover. “I’ve already told the landlord, ‘If you ever want to get rid of it, we may be interested.’ I don’t think they would ever sell it without giving us first … I’m confident in that.”

Mr. Schoonover said it’s a bit premature to be thinking about permanent plans for Medic 101.

“It’s so important when we do a medic station – you know what they cost – that we put it in the right place. Right now, that is actually showing the right place,” Mr. Schoonover said.

“We want to get the north Seaford station done and gather some data and see what that does. We’ve been (in Lincoln) for 28 years. We’ve made improvements, and they have too. They have been a good landlord. It has everything. It’s an old facility that we’ve spruced up as best we could.”

County councilman Sam Wilson Jr. asked about a possible EMS medic connection with Bayhealth, located east of the Lincoln site. Mr. Schoonover said it doesn’t appear to be an ideal location.

“We have talked to them a couple times,” Mr. Schoonover said. “We need to be on U.S. 113, or closer to 113, because that’s how we get out — north or south. The farther you move in closer to the hospital, the farther we are away from 113, and covering that area toward Greenwood, so that is a concern there. Also, if you look at a hospital, once they build it, then stuff starts to build around it. Before you know it, we’re stuck in the middle of it, where we want to be sort of on the outside of it.”

Mr. Schoonover noted Bridgeville Medic 107 covers Greenwood now.

“You have the area between Greenwood and Milford now that we have to cover. We don’t want to move it too far east and not be able to cover … between 113 and 13, that gap in between there,” said Mr. Schoonover. “That’s why we are filling the gap starting Jan. 1 with the Milton unit. It covers a good amount of geography there with that medic unit.”