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Sunday, March 14, 2021
Service Call – Fire Company Requested – Assist Delaware State Police


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Sunday March, 14 2021 @ 19:13

Nature: Service Call – Fire Company Request – Assist Delaware State Police

Location: Ritter Drive, William Ritter Manor, Millsboro, DE 19966

On Sunday, March 14th, the Delaware State Police Issued a Gold Alert for a missing person -

On Sunday evening, March 14th, the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company was requested to assist the Delaware State Police with a search for a missing person near the William Ritter Manor development off Long Neck Road. 

It was reported that an elderly male subject, wearing a blue zip up sweatshirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers with known medical conditions was last seen at approximately 3 p.m. in the William Ritter Manor development.

The Delaware State Police with ground units and the aviation unit (Trooper 2) searched for a considerable amount of time before requesting additional assistance.

Emergency response units from Indian River initially staged and coordinated a search plan and grid from the Long Neck Elementary School with units responding to the following areas:  Bay Farm Road, American Legion Road, Long Neck Road, Autumn Road, School Lane, Banks Road, Oak Orchard Road, Green Road, Walker Road, Holly Lake Road, John J. Williams Highway and inclusive of all developments thereto.  Later the coordination efforts were transferred to the Long Neck Station off Banks Road. 

Emergency response units included:  Engine #80-1, Brush #80-0, Utility 80-11, Utility 80-12, Polaris 80, and the Delaware State Fire Police.

Apparatus units were assigned to search and tour developments and easy to access side roads along many of the areas in the Oak Orchard, Long Neck, Indian Mission areas with emphasis on developments. Polaris 80 was assignment to search hard to access areas behind shopping centers, multi-residential apartment complex, golf cart and bike paths as well as newly clearly wooded construction areas as well as open fields off Banks Road, Holly Lake Road, Indian Mission Road, Long Neck Road, and others.   

At approximately 10 p., the Delaware State Police Communication Center utilized reverse 911 calling to alert area residents of this missing persons situation.  

At approximately 11 p., Polaris 80 ( was assigned to search an area where a report of man walking in the field was reported as a result of the reverse 911 calling.  Contact was made with the caller to gather specific information and better coordinate a revised grid pattern.  Polaris 80 responded to the designated area along the field hedgerow between Oak Orchard Road and Layton Davis Road and initiated the search pattern and was able to locate the individual within a few minutes.

Polaris 80 with Chief Hayden Klingler notified Incident Command that we have located the individual and requested emergency medical services to the designated area for additional observation to assist with the general well-being concerns.  The patient was transported to nearby medical facilities for additional observation.  All units were able to return to quarters at approximately 12:05 a.m.