The reason it all started…
In mid 1967, the need for a volunteer ambulance service became evident when the area funeral directors decided to discontinue emergency services. A group of citizens from the Hartland and Gasport areas met and discussed the possibility of establishing a volunteer ambulance service to cover the areas three fire companies; Gasport, Middleport and Terry’s Corners. These companies comprised and area covering 56 square miles and were not at all interested in providing emergency patient transport to hospitals.
A work in progress…
After countless hours of investigation and many meetings with local town boards, fire companies, fellow volunteer ambulance services, insurance companies and so forth, an application to form the corporation was forwarded to the State of New York. In September of 1968, Tri-Town Ambulance Service was granted a charter to operate. Operations officially started October 1st, 1968.
Our Founding Charter Members:
Robert Brown – Robert Goodenough – Merlin Frasier – Claire Ramming -Lewis Schworm
Getting Started…We need a vehicle!
Before Tri-Town Ambulance Service was able to become a reality to the community, an ambulance purchase was imminent. In 1963, a Cadillac station wagon designed ambulance was purchased from Superior Coach for $4,350. It looked similar to the photo shown below!
Training the members…
After acquiring an ambulance, mandated basic first aid training had to be accomplished. Hours and hours were spent training their small membership to administer first aid and how to use the equipment on the ambulance.
A place to stay…
Now owning an ambulance and equipment, the need arose to find a place to house and base it. At the very beginning, the ambulance was stationed at crew members homes, occasionally granted access to the Hartland Town Garage and the Gasport Fire Hall. In 1971, crew members joined from the Middleport area resulting in a rotation schedule amongst members adding the Middleport Fire hall as another spot to house the rig.
Help! I have an emergency!
In order for the community to request this new emergency service they had to call O’ Stewarts Nursing Home and later, Lester’s Nursing Home in Gasport. These calls were relayed to a Tri-Town Members home phone, in turn calling the remaining scheduled crew members. Tri-Town’s first official phone number was 772-7600. This no longer is active.
Advancements in our levels of care
In 2014 a new level of care was announced and some of our members completed the new course to become Advanced EMT’s. This level allows for more advanced emergency medical care for our patients. We currently have 4 AEMT’s. In 2015 Tri-Town has increased its level of care to paramedic and we have 2 fully cleared medics currently with more on board getting processed. Soon, this will allow Tri-Town to provide the community with the highest level of prehospital emergency care. And in our Basic EMT’s world we have advancement as well. They, as well as all of our care levels, can now administer Narcan for opiate overdoses.
Also in 2015 NYS has ruled out the use of backboards for immobilizing patients due to extended studies. You won’t see backboards come off any ambulance or rescue trucks as they will still be utilized for their original purpose, to move patients from areas inaccessible by ambulance and to extricate from motor vehicles to transfer patients to the stretcher. You may still see cervical collars being used but you will no longer see head blocks.
We officially have been instated by the State of New York as Certified Paramedic Level.