Commer Ambulance

Commer Ambulance


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At the beginning of the war, Commercial Cars of Luton began producing Commer First Aid lorries. These were used to carry medical stores and stretchers to supply first aid post. The Commer First Aid lorry was a great success and the company were asked to produce an ambulance for moving injured horses. The ambulance could carry two horses.


In 1864 the United States Congress enacted the Union Army Ambulance Corps. Getting sick and wounded soldiers to surgeons as quickly as possible proved to be a frustrating issue with both the Union and Confederate armies. The sheer ratio of soldiers to surgeons prohibited most surgeons from going directly to soldiers on the battlefield. This meant that other soldiers had to find a way to transport the sick and wounded, as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that they could receive the best possible care. In the summer of 1862, Dr. Jonathan Letterman was placed in charge as the director of medicine for the entire United States Army. Dr. Letterman also had carte blanche in developing a plan for addressing the incredibly poor medical conditions. Among the first additions that Dr. Letterman developed was the first-ever Ambulance Corps. The ambulance consisted of a single wagon pulled by either one or two horses with a covered rear in which a stretcher could be used to pick up a soldier and transport them.

Research has shown that some ambulances were built by the Studebaker Corporation for the Union Army in the early vestiges of war. Early Civil War ambulances contained special rockers that acted as unique stabilizers for the comfort of the injured soldier which on the two-horse journey to a field hospital. To make it easy to load and unload the wounded soldiers, the ambulances had two beds made of wood, like a shutter, with sliding handles upon each corner this meant that the patient could be easily shifted without any potentially life-threatening shifting or jolting of the patient. The bed would slide into the ambulance on special rollers and, in the same way, they would be unloaded at the field hospital. The wagons had six attached seats with cushions with the ability to secure the patients in. The overall design of ambulance wagons kept the patients in mind but also providing a way to comfortably and securely transport patients so that they would not be driven against each other or jostled around over especially rough roads.

Dr. Letterman established a unique system of three stations. The first of these stations could be considered a “wound-dressing” station in which an ambulance wagon could bring the injured to get dressings and apply a tourniquet, if necessary. The wounded soldier would then go on to a field hospital, which was located on or very close to the battlefield, in which emergent operations (such as amputations) could be performed. The third station was a large hospital that was not located on a battlefield and usually within the local community this would allow for soldiers who survived any surgical intervention to receive long-term care. As Dr. Letterman began fine-tuning his craft, historians have noted that he could be credited for bringing the “triage” system into modern medicine. That is, triaging involves examining a patient and determining their level of acuity. In essence, the “sickest” or most ill patients would be seen first while less seriously ill patients would wait longer so that medical staff could attend to the gravely ill. Today, this process is used in every emergency department in the United States to rapidly assess which patients need immediate care and which patients can safely wait.


St John Historical Timeline

The St John Ambulance Association was established during 1877 in England by the Order of St John. The aim of the Association was to address the growing need for effective first aid training to deal with the increase in accidents occurring with the development of an industrialised and urbanised society.

Inspired by the original monastic Order of St John, the English Order founded a St John hospital in Jerusalem and, during 1887, created the St John Ambulance Brigade. The Brigade was based on a military-style organisation, featuring uniformed disciplined members and a specific hierarchy. Its primary purpose was to provide volunteers, trained in first aid, to offer basic medical assistance at large public events and during times of emergency.

1890-99 Arrival in Western Australia

Permission was granted to Mathieson Henry Jacoby to establish a St John Ambulance Association centre in the Western Australian colony during 1891. Jacoby had already gained a St John First Aid certificate in his hometown of Adelaide. Along with Dr George McWilliams he enlisted several local doctors to promote and teach first aid in Perth.

The initial first aid training class commenced on 3 March, 1892 and was attended by 20 police, 10 railway workers and two members of the community. By the end of the century, 176 students had passed St John Ambulance first aid courses.

1900-09 Expansion into the country

The start of the century saw new centres established in Kalgoorlie, Boulder and Fremantle. This was the beginning of a steady expansion into regional Western Australia.

A men&rsquos division of the St John Ambulance Brigade was formed during 1904. The Brigade attended all race meetings at the metropolitan race courses and received donations for their services. They also attended other events such as football matches, bicycle races and the Royal Agricultural Show. During this decade, 1506 students passed their first aid courses.

1910-19 Supporting the war effort

During 1911, first aid classes began at mine sites and two years later, classes became a regular part of instruction in schools.

The first women&rsquos nursing division was also founded during 1913. Many of these volunteers, along with the men&rsquos Brigade, served in the First World War. This included women who formed Voluntary Aid Detachments and worked in military hospitals.

Despite first aid class numbers fluctuating during this decade &ndash increasing during the First World War and decreasing because of the influenza pandemic &ndash 7126 students passed their first aid courses.

1920-29 The city’s Ambulance Service

During 1921, a building was acquired on Murray street to officially house the Perth centre of the Association. After negotiations with other ambulance providers, St John Ambulance assumed responsibility for the city&rsquos ambulance service on 1 July, 1922.

Prior to this, the injured were transported to hospitals by a number of ambulance corps including the Fire Brigade, Police, Railways, and the Fremantle Port Authority. Overwhelmed by public demand, the logical decision was to involve St John Ambulance. It would provide transport for both accident cases and, for the first time, medical cases. Between 1922 and 1923, 1873 patients were transported in three ambulances by four paid officers. The service grew steadily and within a decade the number of patients transported in the Perth area had risen to more than 3000.

A first aid lecture was given by Sir John Hewitt in Kalgoorlie during his visit in 1928 and lectures on first aid were broadcast from the Western Australian Farmer&rsquos Broadcasting Station (6WF). During 1929, a second metropolitan ambulance centre was established in Fremantle and St John began teaching first aid to girl guides and boy scouts. Some 4714 students passed their first aid courses during this period.

1930-39 Lotteries Commission support activities

The Depression following the First World War slowed advancement of the centres around the State. A campaign was initiated during 1932 to encourage first aid teaching to senior high school students in country areas. The ambulance service was funded through donations, and during 1933 the Lotteries Commission made its first annual grant, establishing a long association with St John Ambulance.

By 1938-39, the number of patients transported was 5174. There were four ambulances and six paid officers. Growth in the St John Ambulance Brigade was steady during this time and by 1939, the Western Australian District had 41 divisions with 1072 volunteer members. The first Cadet unit commenced in Fremantle during 1936. Throughout this period, 13,782 students successfully completed first aid courses.

1940-49 Demand for training increases

World War II had a great impact on all branches of St John Ambulance, with unprecedented demand for first aid training. Large numbers of the population &ndash especially women &ndash joined first aid classes for the war effort.

The number of certificates issued between 1939 and 1945 was 41,962. This was equivalent to one in every 12 Western Australians being certified. New divisions were registered in the Brigade despite many members joining the Armed Services. For those who did remain in the State, many joined Voluntary Aid Detachments with the men deployed in Air Raid Patrols and the women in the Army Medical Service. Following a greater understanding of injury treatment during WWII, a supplement to the first aid textbook was issued during 1945.

The St John headquarters moved to Wellington street during 1940 and seven years later the St John Commandery in Western Australia was established. This provided a semi-independent status for the WA Order, permitting self governance and no further requirements to have all decisions and policy come from London. It was towards the end of the 1940s that the State Government began its assistance in funding the ambulance service.

By the end of the decade, 46,099 students had passed first aid courses with St John Ambulance.

1950-59 First Aid revolutionised

First aid was transformed this decade with the introduction of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. A contributory scheme was introduced during 1952 to allow the public to insure themselves for their ambulance transport needs. By 1959 there were 72 sub centres established throughout the State. The Association taught 1871 first aid students during that year and transported almost 12,000 patients. By the end of the decade, 28,499 students had passed a first aid course.

This decade saw significant growth in St John Ambulance activity as the State&rsquos population rapidly grew. Major changes in funding and governance enabled the Association to keep up with the increased demands.

A fleet of Dodge ambulances were acquired and were later replaced by Fords. The number of country sub centres also grew, with most staffed by volunteer ambulance officers. During 1961, Brigade numbers peaked at 2400 members, and first aid training was extended to taxi drivers, naval cadets and even the Vespa club.

At an international level, the &lsquoResusci Anne&rsquo first aid training manikin was introduced by Norwegian toy and doll manufacturer Asmund Laerdal. The introduction of Resusci Anne would revolutionise the training of first aid and CPR for generations to come. Trainers used &lsquoAnnie&rsquo to teach simple skills of CPR to 100 school children. The first manuals teaching &lsquoAirway, Breathing and Circulation&rsquo (ABC) were published, and 47,965 students passed first aid courses.

1970-79 Birth of a non-profit organisation

Population growth and developments throughout the State continued during the 1970s. Occupational first aid training extended from police and the fire department to other essential industries including civil aviation and the army during 1970.

From 1977-80, St John Ambulance operated an aerial service in addition to road ambulances in the southwest of the State, alleviating many of the long road trips to hospital. There were 116 sub centres operating around the State and during 1979 the Basic Life Support (BLS) course was piloted. It included CPR, control of bleeding and caring for an unconscious patient.

Also during 1979, the administration of St John Ambulance shifted to a higher quality of professional management, and the headquarters moved from Perth to Belmont. As a consequence of these changes, the Association ceased being a medical charity and became a non-profit organisation combining features of a public utility, a business corporation and a voluntary association. Funding under this status also became more reliable. An ambulance contribution scheme and small government subsidies surpassed donations and fundraising events. Brigade numbers saw a decline during this period and 52,716 students passed first aid courses.

During 1980, there was a 50 per cent increase in student numbers from the previous year because of tailored marketing and a professional approach. Throughout this decade, the first aid course was shortened to three days after constant internal review. This period saw 166,708 students pass first aid courses.

Across Australia, St John Ambulance services and activities were streamlined during the 1980s. A major structural review was initiated during 1985. All the various State arrangements were brought together under one cohesive entity improving communications and reducing duplication. From this, a single name and logo was adopted across the country. The new name was &lsquoSt John Ambulance Australia&rsquo and all activities were channelled into two departments &ndash a training branch replacing the &lsquoAssociation&rsquo and an Operations Branch replacing the &lsquoBrigade&rsquo.

1990-99 A century of service

St John Ambulance Australia (WA) celebrated 100 years of service to the Western Australian community during 1992, as well as 70 years of running the ambulance service.

The organisation continued to develop and during 1995 it opened a new branch, Community Care. The aim was to meet the growing needs of the lonely elderly in the community, with non-uniformed volunteers taking them shopping or on excursions and maintaining contact by telephone (see picture, left).

The Industrial Paramedic Service was also introduced during this period. During 1991, an introductory course was created with the emphasis on practical first aid. Training numbers increased, and included 900 country police. 383,186 students successfully passed first aid courses during this decade. Between 1999 and 2000, more than 500 career and 2000 volunteer ambulance personnel transported 136,000 patients. The ambulance fleet consisted of 340 vans and 55 other vehicles. The old Ford model ambulances were slowly replaced by new Mercedes models.

Uniformed volunteer first aiders performed 42,000 hours of public duty and treated 5885 casualties. In the Community Care branch, 207 additional volunteers visited 1306 elderly patrons. A number of people from the Marr Mooditj Foundation became first aid instructors in order to train Aboriginal health care workers.

2000-09 A modern organisation

The new millennium saw a united, modern organisation emerge. A new green-coloured uniform was worn by all first aid trainers, ambulance paramedics, volunteer ambulance officers and volunteer first aiders. Mercedes ambulances were still being rolled out across the State, with green livery replacing the traditional red and black. All administration was located at the State centre in Belmont.

First aid courses were expanded, with new initiatives such as the First Responder System. Oxygen and semi-automatic defibrillators were allowed to be used by First Responder personnel until paramedics arrived on the scene. First aid courses were also condensed to two days. St John Ambulance was officially recognised by the State Government as the principle provider of ambulance transport in Western Australia.

The Volunteer First Aid Service celebrated 100 years during 2004, acknowledging the important role volunteers play in providing first aid services at community, cultural and sporting events.

2010-present - What the future holds

St John Ambulance Western Australia celebrates 120 years of service to the community in 2012. It is committed to pursuing its humanitarian vision and providing high-quality first aid services to the community, using new technology and advancements in first aid equipment and techniques.

Since the start of the new millennium, 1,115,247 students have passed St John Ambulance first aid training courses.

2020 - present - The digital era

St John WA has embraced the digital world by using innovative technologies to provide new and exciting services to the community. From our Virtual Reality First Aid Training, which takes the user into an immersive and challenging environment, where they are tested in real life scenarios. To our First responder app with over 250,000 downloads, allowing certified members to assist in an emergency, when every minute counts.

Throughout the last 10 years St John has continued to support the community through devastating fires and COVID 19. Looking forward we aim to be the most trusted provider of clinical care in the community of Western Australia.


NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Two events into NHRA’s monumental Return To Racing during the COVID-19 pandemic, a rebirth that continued with last weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Summerationals in Indy, I’m reminded of the longstanding Summernationals-related pun that was already well entrenched in the National Dragster offices before I even arrived there decades ago: “Summernationals, and some aren’t.” On the slim chance you didn’t “get it,” it’s a play on “Some are Nationals, some aren’t,” and a cheeky reference to some national events somehow being “better” or more worthy than others. In its most “famous” usage, I remember a headline crowing “Summernationals, and some aren’t. This one was.”

The return of the Summernationals name — a mainstay marquee for nearly 50 years — to the NHRA lineup in Indy added another chapter (and another venue) to one of the most storied event names in the NHRA annals.

Long associated with the since-shuttered New Jersey mecca of speed that longtime fans and racers simply called “Englishtown” — Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (nee Madison Township Raceway Park), which actually was not even located in the city of Englishtown, N.J., yet had an Englishtown mailing address because that post office was closer than the Old Bridge annex — the Summernationals event name has now bounced around to four different venues since it joined the schedule as part of NHRA’s “Super Season” in 1970.

Although Englishtown became synonymous with the event name, the first Summernationals were actually held at York U.S. 30 Dragway in York, Pa. Announced by NHRA in August 1969, the Summernationals, the Gatornationals, and the Supernationals all joined the NHRA schedule for the 1970 season, boosting the calendar from four events to seven events.

Staged July 18-19 at the track located about an hour east of the famed Gettysburg Civil War 1863 battleground (ironically, a battle also staged in July), the first Summernationals went off with nary a hitch, and the National Dragster race report was, well, interesting.

"In an area rich with historical background, the National Hot Rod Association produced its first annual Summernationals drag racing championships at York U.S. 30 Dragway. Almost two centuries ago, the sound of musket fire broke the silence in the rolling green countryside, while a little over 100 years ago, a gentleman named Lincoln made his famed Gettysburg Address not too far from the dragstrip. However, the weekend of July 18-19 found the placid tranquility broken by a new and exciting sound, the noise of 1,500-horsepower fuelers and Funny Cars on down to the shrill hum of a highly-modified Volkswagen, Yes, drag racing, NHRA style, had come to York, Pennsylvania.”

“Sneaky Pete” Robinson won Top Fuel on a bye run after low qualifier (6.72) Jim Nicoll was unable to fire his dragster for the final round after an engine-expiring, low e.t. blast of 6.71 in the semifinals. It was Robinson’s first big win since the 1966 World Finals and the last before his passing in a wreck at the Winternationals the following February.

Gene Snow won Funny Car, running a sizzling 7.20 at 214 mph in beating Phil Castronovo in the semifinals and then a 7.27 in the final round to defeat Vic Brown's 7.47 in Gary Richards’ New York-based "Black Shadow" Mustang.

1970 was also the debut season of Pro Stock, which went over just fine with the doorslammer disciples of the East Coast, and nearly 60 drivers tried to make the 16-var field, which sported an impressive 10.19 bump spot and Dick Oldfield in the No. 1 spot at 9.93 in his "Motown Missile" Dodge Challenger. Californian "Dandy Dick" Landy ended up the winner over red-lighting Herb McCandless at the wheel of the Sox & Martin team Plymouth Duster.

The Summernationals moved to Englishtown in 1971, where the name remained in action until 1992. The Summernationals was not the track’s first event at all — it hosted the NHRA Springnationals in 1968 after it moved from Bristol and before it moved to Dallas and then to Columbus — but regardless of venue, the Summernationals will always be tied to E-Town, and with great reason.

The Englishtown Summernationals were epic. It was one of the first events to hold nighttime qualifying, a virtual necessity due to the region’s sweltering July climes. Many a fan and racer were sent swooning but the heat and humidity, most famously 1971 Top Fuel runner-up Jim Harnsberger, who almost passed out due to heat prostration working on his car before the final. He was whisked to the hospital — against his wishes — in an ambulance but talked the ambulance crew into bringing him back to the track, and he watched Arnie Behling solo to the win. (Behling's win was just the second with a rear-engined Top Fueler, after Don Garlits' win at the Winternationals that year.)

So many incredible things happened in E-Town in those 20-plus years. Judi Boertman beat husband Dave in the 1971 Stock final in the first intra-couple final round in NHRA history. Jeb Allen won Top Fuel at the 1972 event at the tender age of 18 years, one month to become NHRA’s youngest Pro winner, a title he held for 45 years until Tanner Gray — 17 years, 11 months — won Pro Stock at the 2017 spring Las Vegas event. East Coast Funny Car hero “Jungle Jim” Liberman won his first and only NHRA Wally at the 1975 event. Someone (Mark Oswald, in the Candies Hughes dragster) finally broke Garlits’ near-seven-year old (2,470 days, to be exact) 5.63 national record with a 5.61 at the 1982 event. Four years later, Garlits had the world’s most famous blowover at the ’86 event. Kurt Johnson made the first six-second Pro Stock at the ’94 race. The list could go on and on.

So, even though NHRA continued to hold national events in Englishtown, the Summernationals name went away in 1993 when the event was moved from sweltering July to May, which meant that it leapfrogged ahead of the Columbus, Ohio-based Springnationals on the calendar and, well, we just can’t have summer before spring, right?

The event became the Mopar Parts Nationals and stayed that way until 2000, when Matco took over sponsorship of the E-Town event. At that point, the race became the Matco Spring SuperNationals (because Matco already sponsored the late-year, unseason-named SuperNationals in Houston).

(Even though NHRA has stopped using the Springnationals name for the Ohio race in 1996, when Pontiac became the sponsor of the Pontiac Excitement Nationals, the E-Town event was in May and summer doesn’t begin until June 21, so do the math. The Spring Nationals — two words — resumed in 2002 in Houston. But I digress.)

After a 10-year hiatus, the Summernationals name returned to the NHRA schedule, now attached to the Topeka event, but at least it also was two words — Summer Nationals — to help preserve a bit of the original event’s integrity. The Summer Nationals remained in Topeka for 12 years, until 2013, when the event was rebranded as the NHRA Kansas Nationals.

The Englishtown event had carried on as the Supernationals under a variety of sponsorships — K&N Filters, ProCare Rx, United Association, and Toyota -– but the Napp family wasted no time immediately reclaiming the name — as one word — for the 2013 event with continued backing from Toyota, and all was well and right again in the NHRA universe until the facility got out of the drag racing business and into the car-storage business in early 2018, breaking hearts up and down the Jersey Shore and, indeed, across the NHRA universe.

As we already know, the Summernationals is back with the running of the Indy race last weekend. It’s too early to tell if the event name will be adopted again by someone in 2021 (honestly, can anyone accurately predict anything that will happen in 2021?), but even if it was just a one-year Summernationals, it was some Summernationals.

From an historic standpoint, the event marked the first time in NHRA history that two different national events had been held at the same racetrack on consecutive weekends, coming on the heels of the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Indy just days earlier. It also was only the third time the fabled Indy facility has held more than one national event in a season — it hosted the U.S. Nationals and the SPORTnationals in 1983 and 1984 — but the first hosting all of the Pro classes twice in one year.

Even though rain has pushed the final rounds of that race until the Denso Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals, history is assured as either T.J. Zizzo or Justin Ashley will win their first NHRA Top Fuel Wally. The last time that we had two first-time Top Fuel finalists was in 1997 when eventual winner Cristen Powell dueled with Bruce Sarver — ironically, in Englishtown.

The Lucas Oil Summernationals will also be part of more trivia in the weeks ahead. In two weeks, Indy will host a third event — the newly-announced Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals — making the facility just the second to host three events in one year. During NHRA’s 50th anniversary season in 2001, the similarly fabled Pomona racetrack held its traditional Winternationals and World Finals, plus a summertime spectacular, the Pep Boys 50th Anniversary Nationals.

And, of course, the Indy track will make history — and the Summernationals will be a part of that equation — when it hosts its fourth season event, the prestigious U.S. Nationals, in late August/early September, making it officially the busiest national event venue in NHRA history.

Some are Nationals and some aren’t. The Summernationals always will be.

Phil Burgess can be reached at [email protected]

Hundreds of more articles like this can be found in the DRAGSTER INSIDER COLUMN ARCHIVE


Medix Ambulance Service

Driving North on Hwy 101, take a right onto Dolphin Ave.
Travel to 2325 SE Dolphin Avenue and take a right into parking area.

About Us

Medix Ambulance provides advanced life support 9-1-1 ambulance response for all of Clatsop County in Oregon and parts of Pacific County, Washington (City of Long Beach, City of Ilwaco, and Pacific County Fire District #2). All Medix Ambulance Paramedics and EMTs are dual certified in the states of Oregon and Washington. Dispatch 503-861-1990

Medix Ambulance has a long history of service in the very rural setting of the northern Oregon and southern Washington communities it serves. Known as a dependable and professional health care provider, the company?s outstanding track record of performance has earned it the goodwill of EMS policy makers, the medical community, and citizens.

Medix Ambulance responds to more than 6,500 ambulance requests for service and approximately 7,000 wheelchair requests for service annually.

Medix Ambulance meets or exceeds the EMS response time requirements for all service zones we cover.


Our History

The county started the service January 1, 1991, hiring Dennis Brasher to organize and set up the EMS system. Mr. Brasher retired in 2020 and Nathaniel D. Bryant was appointed in October, 2020 to continue to lead JCEMS forward. The service operates under a county ordinance with an Ambulance Board of Directors that meets monthly.

  • One physician - Dr. Frank Pangallo, MD
  • One county commissioner - Bob Gillaspy
  • One county councilman - Dave Hall
  • Jackson County sheriff - Rick Meyer
  • Seymour City Police Chief- Bryant Lucas
  • President of the Jackson County Fire Chiefs Association - Ben Rudolph
  • Schneck Medical Center Administrator - Dr. Eric Fish, MD
  • Seymour Fire Chief- Brad Lucas
  • Community Member- Lynn Howard

The service has twice won the Indiana Paramedic Provider of the Year as well as once won the State Governors Cup Paramedic Ambulance Competition.

Jackson County EMS provides pre-hospital treatment at the scene of emergencies under the auspices of medical control from Schneck Medical Center. Transport is then made to the closest or most appropriate facility.

7,165 responses were made in 2018 with about half of these being emergencies and the other half convalescent. We employ a staff of 39 EMTs, Advanced EMTs and Paramedics. Full-time field staff works a shift of 24 hours on and 48 hours off.

As a county service, the operating budget of about $2,800,000 is set and approved by the Jackson County Council. About 95% of the budget is covered by income from runs made and 5% being tax-supported.


Freedom House Rises

But despite all the struggle, Freedom House&rsquos reputation was growing. By this time, Freedom House&rsquos five ambulances were running nearly 6,000 calls a year. And not only were they getting to the patients faster than the police, but they were also providing demonstrably better care. At a city council meeting, Safar presented data showing that as many as 1,200 people a year had been dying needlessly while in the care of other emergency services. Freedom House paramedics, by contrast, had saved 200 lives in the first year alone. Doctors and medical directors from around the country flocked to Pittsburgh. Freedom House medics were invited to conferences as far away as Germany. Everyone wanted to see what they were doing and learn how they could copy it.

Photo credit: University of Pittsburgh Freedom House paramedics with ambulance.

But in spite of its growing fame, Freedom House would eventually become a victim of its own success. Other neighborhoods were wondering why this predominantly Black community was receiving better care than theirs. And perhaps no one did more to punish Freedom House for this transgression than Pittsburgh&rsquos mayor, Pete Flaherty. Flaherty was a fiscally conservative Democrat who went into office already believing programs using taxpayer money should be managed entirely by the city. When Flaherty took office, he slashed Freedom House&rsquos operating budget in half. This didn&rsquot leave enough money to cover even routine maintenance on the ambulances which were falling apart. The city&rsquos resistance to Freedom House went further than throwing up financial roadblocks. Flaherty passed an ordinance that banned ambulances from using their sirens in certain neighborhoods, significantly slowing their response times.

Photograph of Nancy Caroline posing in the door of a Freedom House ambulance 1975. Provided by Harvard University

In 1975, the federal government chose Freedom House to field test the first standardized training curriculum for EMS providers. And Nancy Caroline, Freedom House’s medical director, was asked to write the textbook. But years of pressure from Pittsburgh City Hall were beginning to take their toll. In 1975, Flattery struck one final blow. He announced that the city would roll out its own brand new paramedic service. Not only was the new service showered with the resources Freedom House had long been denied, but none of the new recruits were Black. Caroline got the city to hire on Freedom House’s staff, but most of them were quickly re-assigned to non-medical or non-essential duties, and even as late as the 1990s, Pittsburgh’s EMS program was 98% white.

The veterans of Freedom House would go on to influence the EMS profession outside of Pittsburgh in countless other ways. Peter Safar helped to develop another early paramedic program in Baltimore. Nancy Caroline founded the first-ever EMS service in Israel. Her textbook, titled Emergency Care in the Streets, ended up setting the standard in EMS instruction for decades.

But within a few years of being replaced by the city&rsquos EMS service, Freedom House was more or less forgotten. In part because, like all good things, paramedics were soon taken for granted.


Ambulance Department

Honeoye Falls - Mendon Volunteer Ambulance, Inc., is a public safety and health care organization whose mission is:

  • To provide timely, professional, pre-hospital emergency medical care and transport that is of the highest quality, administered with skill, compassion and dignity to all who require such service within the municipal and mutual aid areas served
  • To coordinate and direct pre-hospital care resources and operations in the event of a medical emergency or disaster, and maintain a constant state of readiness for such occurrences at all times
  • To provide all such services without regard to a patients&rsquo sex, race, color, creed, national origin, gender preference, political views, ability to pay, or any other characteristic provided by law.

HFMVA is the primary emergency medical services provider for the Town of Mendon and Village of Honeoye Falls in Upstate NY. Officially a department of the Village of Honeoye Falls, HFMVA serves a total population of approximately 8,000 residents in a 40 square-mile district, covering 800-1000 requests for service each year.

HFMVA is a member agency of Monroe County Battalion 5, which also includes fire and EMS agencies from Rush, Henrietta and West Brighton.


In 1986, Lynch EMS was founded as a small family business by Walter M. and Nancy Lynch, along with their son, Walter J. Lynch. Although we have expanded a great deal since opening our doors over 30 years ago, the company is still operated by the Lynch family. Emergency Medical Services have always been a passion for the Lynch family, which is one of the biggest reasons the communities we serve trust us as partners in providing care for their residents.

While working as a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy, Walter M. Lynch recognized the need for inter-facility transportation of patients that did not require 911 emergency services. He noticed that these patients often waited an extended length of time for transportation to obtain medical care. Those patients needed advocates and the Lynch family wanted to help. Walt purchased his first two used ambulances from a Hollywood studio that was no longer using the vehicles for a television series and the company was born.

In the early days of the business, all members of the Lynch family, including daughters Deborah and Julie, were certified as EMTs and participated in transporting patients. However, the company has grown immensely from the days of the family of five running calls with only two ambulances as we now service all of Orange County, and parts of Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. Their dedication today is as resolute as it was then, and the staff and medical professionals that work for them approach their work with the same enthusiasm. Over the years, they have had experience in all aspects of developing and operating the emergency and non-emergency medical transport business.

Lynch EMS’s dedication to our community is unwavering. Today, Lynch EMS operates approximately 35 ambulances, including those dedicated to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) under an exclusive agreement. We employ over 140 Medical Transport Personnel for Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support, Specialty Care, Special Events, and Medical Standby.

From Lynch Ambulance to Lynch EMS

In 2012, Lynch Ambulance Service recognized that we were more than just an ambulance company. Lynch Ambulance was providing Emergency Medical Services to the communities we serve through community education, medical stand-by at events, CPR training as well as response to local and national disasters. In an effort to acknowledge our role as an Emergency Medical Services provider, the name Lynch EMS was born.

Since the inception of the Lynch EMS name, we have worked hard to see our vision grow by offering IFT-ALS services utilizing highly trained Paramedics, Hospice Partnership Services, and growth of our community involvement and education initiatives. We have sought to expand the scope of practice of Paramedics in the County of Orange and have achieved through close partnership with the EMS agency to allow Paramedics to utilize IV Pumps and Ventilators.

In 2019, Lynch EMS was awarded the first 911-ALS contract for a private ambulance company in the County of Orange. The company is honored to be providing the emergency medical care for the City of Placentia.


The Air Ambulance: A History

The air ambulance has been around almost as long as there has been human flight. Like most medical services the origination and development of the air ambulance began in the military. Since its early concepts, shortly after the Wright Brother’s first flight, in World War I the air ambulance has seen tremendous growth and expansion into the civilian world. Today it is one of the most useful ways to assist people in need in rural areas and has contributed its part in improving the lifespan of mankind.

Most historians believe the first true medical transport mission took place during World War I when a Serbian officer was flown in a French Air Service plane from the battlefield to the hospital. French records during World War I reported that the air ambulance cut the mortality rate of injured soldiers from 60% to 10%. The first official recorded air ambulance mission was in 1917 in Turkey when a British ambulance transported a soldier who had been shot to a hospital in 45 minutes.

Air ambulances continued to take off through the 1920s, however aircraft was still primitive at the time. Still the idea of the air ambulance caught on as the French and British both used them during wars in Africa in the 1920s. By the late 1930s Switzerland used the air ambulance to help rescue people injured participating in the growing winter sports like skiing. In 1936 the first organized air ambulance government service was underway when the wounded during the Spanish Civil War were transported to Nazi Germany for medical treatment.

By the time the United States became involved in World War II the USA had a full aircraft dedicated to air ambulance services. In April 1944 the US Army Forces transported injured British soldiers in the jungles of Burma. Overall, from April 25-26 four total return trips were made.

In the civilian world the air ambulance was experimented with early but businesses began to offer the service in a more organized fashion after World War I. The first known commercial air ambulance was developed to serve the Australian Outback in the late 1920s. The first United States air ambulance company, the Schaefer Air Service, was founded in Los Angeles in 1947. The service really took off in more remote areas of Canada through the 1940s and up to today.

By the Vietnam War the USA was using the Bell UH-1 helicopter. It was known as Huey and large enough to hold patients inside with medical personnel who could begin administering treatment while in flight. The Huey became a massive success as it reduced the average delay until full treatment to one hour.

The 1970s and 1980s saw rapid expansion of air ambulance companies in the United States as well as in Canada and Germany. Travel Care Air was founded during this explosion. The boom was created in part from government studies that showed the positive effects of the air ambulance as well as increasingly reliable and secure planes that could accommodate more advanced medical equipment.

Travel Care Air is the leading international ambulance service provider. Our services and staff are ready to assist you in your time of need no matter where you are located in the world or where you need to go. Travel Care Air will get you to your hospital of choice in a safe plane where you will feel as comfortable as possible, treated by some of the best professionals in the business. For more information about our service like us on Facebook.


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