Ambulance squad closes its doors -

Ambulance squad closes its doors

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It was an emotional scene Sunday as a 71 year-old pillar of the community prepared to close its doors.

The Egg Harbor City Volunteer Ambulance Squad held an open house to give former and current members, as well as the community, a chance to say goodbye.

"Today we close our doors after 71 years of volunteer service to Egg Harbor City and the surrounding community, financially, we can no longer keep our doors open," said Chief of the Egg Harbor City Volunteer Ambulance Squad Barbara Adams.

Officials say costly maintenance fees for equipment and the building coupled with less and less money raised throughout the years by fundraisers brought about the shutdown.

Instead of the volunteer company, AtlantiCare will be taking over ambulance duties for the city.

At the open house, visitors had the chance to sort through photos and other memories gathered over the last seven decades.

"This is from 71 years, its plaques, its pictures, its certificates, it's our lives," said Adams.

For treasurer and 40 year volunteer Steve Hadley, the shutdown brings about several emotions.

"A little bit of everything. Some members are angry that you know, we couldn't continue to do what everyone loves to do and that is serve the public. It's not by anyone's fault or anything, besides the anger some people are just genuinely upset," said Hadley.

As the ambulance squad says its final goodbyes after 71 years, members will take the friendships and families the ambulance squad helped to create with them as they go.

"We are a family up here. Some of us by blood, others just through our friendship we have developed over the years," said Hadley.

"A lot of friends, a whole new family, we're just, we're all very close," said Adams.

 "This has been a very big part of my life."

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