PREVIOUSLY REPORTED The American Legion Ambulance Station 64 has been working on a new facility for years.
The new facility, located at the Route 6/Route 300 intersection, is being built to replace the current facility on Glenwood Avenue, which Station 64 has outgrown.
The new station at 14,000 square feet will be substantially larger than the 5,000 square foot current facility. The $2.5 million project puts the facility at a centralized location between Smyrna and Clayton, and adjacent to Bayhealth's new emergency department on Carter Road. A bigger facility will allow the station to house six ambulances; they currently have two ambulances, one Suburban, and a third ambulance as backup.
Station 64 has nine full-time staff, 16 part-time staff, and roughly 30 volunteers.
WHAT'S NEW The finish line is near as American Legion Ambulance 64 will be fully operational in their new facility on Friday, March 1, according to Service Director Allan Post.
With the new building, Post said there is more space for the employees and the volunteers.
The facility on Glenwood Avenue had just a few offices for the entire staff. The new building has 20 rooms including numerous offices for staff, training rooms, meeting rooms, an information technology office, kitchen, crew rooms, a patient care area, an area for vehicle maintenance, and separate bunk rooms for male and female members.
With the extra space, Post said the station is hoping to help the community by having health fairs and more.
Post said the station is excited for the new chapter of Ambulance 64.
"At first you're apprehensive, wondering if you're doing the right thing," Post said. "But you come here and yeah, we definitely did the right thing for the community."
Not only does the building provide more space for working, but it allows for the department to grow. And the opening of the current facility couldn't come at a better time as the station has already had roughly 400 runs thus far this year. Post said the station is up about five percent for runs this time last year.
Volunteer Jo Yost has been working with the department for 37 years and even helped design the new building.
"They deserve it, we deserve it," Yost said.
WHAT'S NEXT The station is still trying to finish up the last minute details so they can start working out the facility on Friday, March 1. There will be a dedication ceremony on Thursday, March 7.
Even though the new facility will be fully operational March 1, the ambulance service will continue to raise money to pay for the project.
Post said the station still has quite a bit of money to pay.
"I don't think people really know how much it costs and money doesn't just flow in," Post said. "But we're working on it."
The station has already held some fundraisers and plan to do a spring fling in May, which Post said will include a juried art show for local artists.
As for the building on Glenwood Avenue, Post said the American Legion Post #14 will take over the building.
Email Jennifer Dailey at email@example.com.