The old Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps building on East Steuben Street came down Wednesday morning.

The old Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps building on East Steuben Street came down Wednesday morning.

It’s being torn down to make way for a new building for the organization that has provided emergency medical response in the area for more than four decades.

The ambulance corps is funded by donations and endowments from community members, and doesn’t receive any funding from the Village of Bath, said Bath Ambulance President Kris Kester.

They’re using the same funding sources for the new facility.

He said the new building marks a new chapter for the organization.

“This is the end of an era for us,” Kester said.

While construction is underway, the ambulance corps is storing equipment and vehicles outdoors on the lot, as well as in space donated by nearby Bond-Davis Funeral Home.

Personnel are operating out of a Victorian-style home purchased by the corps. It’s next to the current site and will become a permanent part of their headquarters.

The ambulance corps serves and area including the Village and Town of Bath, Savona, Kanona, and parts of Wheeler.

Their 80 volunteers and three ambulances respond to about 2,400 calls each year.

It’s a model that’s become almost unique in the area, as large national contract EMS companies, such as Rural/Metro, have taken over providing services in much of the region.

Its main advantage, Kester noted, is that it doesn’t cost residents anything.

“It’s not coming out of their taxes,” he said, since the villages and towns they serve don’t pay for the service. “It’s pretty much neighbors helping neighbors.”

But it’s continued to become more difficult as state training and certification requirements become more expensive and time-consuming.

Volunteer applicants must have CPR and first aid certification, but the ambulance corps pays for other required state certifications. The EMTs currently staffing the ambulances have received a minimum of 150 hours of training.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer can visit, stop by the office at 108 E. Steuben St. or call the non-emergency number at 776-3156.