Eastern Salisbury Fire Department will end its 56 years of ambulance service tonight when it officially shuts down an operation that fire officials said had become a financial drain.
David Tomcics, president of the Fire Department, said the ambulance squad will close its doors at 11:59 p.m., a move that has been planned for about three months.
''We're all sad that it's going,'' said Gloria Hinkle, the ambulance squad chief who volunteered for the organization for 34 years. ''It's heart-breaking for me.''
''We appreciate what the township did to help us,'' she added.
She said the group has about five paid staff and 10 volunteers remaining on staff.
Fire officials say the ambulance portion of their nonprofit has not generated the volume of emergency calls it needs to stay in business, doesn't have enough volunteers, and isn't getting reimbursed by insurance companies at the rate it once did.