Residents in Smyrna will be able to get emergency hospital care quicker when the new Bayhealth Emergency Room opens.  

State leaders cut the ribbon on the new facility, but it won't open until it goes through a final round of inspections and orientation for staff and emergency crews in the area.  The new ER will help reduce travel times to get emergency treatment by about 25 minutes.  

"That's critical, that saves lives," says State Rep. Trey Pardee, D-Dover West.  "That's the difference between a family in this area being able to get care within a matter of just a couple of minutes, as opposed to either having to go to Dover or having to go to Christiana, which could take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes or more."

State Senator Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna, has long pushed for emergency care in the Smyrna area as well as in the Middletown region.  "It's been long needed.  It's a vision I had years ago that's become a reality."  

The $3.4 million Bayhealth facility will be outfitted with three beds and be able to treat a variety of emergencies.  Patients in serious condition will be stabilized at the ER and and transferred to a hospital.  

The growth spurt seen in the lower portion of New Castle County is now being echoed in a growth spurt of sorts for medical facilities.  In addition to the Bayhealth ER, Christiana Care Health System is also expanding into the area.  Christiana's free-standing emergency department in Middletown is expected to be completed early next year.  Christiana's ER will have 18 treatment bays and eight observation unit beds.