An open house and reception will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 11 to recognize the retirement of Dale Miller who has volunteered for the past 37 years on the Florence Ambulance Department and the past 58 years in the community. The reception will be in the rear of the Doyle Creek Mercantile, downtown Florence. Refreshments will be served.
According to Judy Creamer, crew chief of Florence EMS, Miller, 82, and Lois, his wife of more than 60 years, moved to Florence from Newton in 1948.
In 1950, Miller joined the volunteer fire department. He and Lois helped start the volunteer ambulance department in 1971.
When a call came in, Lois dispatched for five years by telephone to other members of the department. Miller and seven other volunteers were certified in 1971. They used a former hearse to transport patients.
Miller has been active in the Florence Christian Church and the community. Members of the community can see Miller, walking the town and picking up cans to recycle with the proceeds going to the church.
Several years ago, Miller was instrumental in starting a walnut tree farm. He continues to work at the farm as a volunteer. He also assists with cleanup near the river. Every year when the river rises and a logjam occurs under the bridge, Miller volunteers to help free logs so they can be pulled out of the water and burned.
“Dale is a small man of stature but still can take more on-call time with the ambulance department than 90 percent of the crew,” Creamer said. “He has proven to be a wise and caring person, not only to his family but to the community. This man has dedicated his life to things that make a difference.”