DANSVILLE — The local ambulance company is celebrating 50 Year milestone in saving lives.
The Dansville Ambulance Co. held an open house for five decades of service to the community on Sept. 15. The Springwater-Wayland EMS, Dansville Fire Department, UR Medicine/ Noyes Health, and Livingston County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit were there as well. The Dansville Boy Scouts helped cook the meal for the event.
Among those who attended this special event were three of the original members Ken Perry, Joe King, and Jim Hamsher. These three men have dedicated 50 years to saving lives.
Perry said that everyone was joining the ambulance back then, since there was a strong need to get it started. Perry and Hamsher started out Union Hose members, and King started in the Protectives.
“We had to go to Alfred University for training in those days, since that was the only place that held classes,” Perry said. “The police were the ones taking calls at the time along with the fire department. They really needed people to form the ambulance.”
Perry said he is proud to be part of the history, and he is still a member of the ambulance and Union Hose.
“I remember when we started it was in a little building up the street,” he said. “I think the new base they have now is beautiful.”
Bob Hart was famous for many things including saving the Dansville and Mount Morris Depot, according to Hamsher, Hart also helped them get the first ambulance. The first ambulance was a Ford Station Wagon, which turned to a 68’ Pontiac when things got started.
Hamsher said that they were all proud to be part of this new squad, and it was all about helping people.
“We are all members of the Old Rescue Squad. This squad eventually became the ambulance,” he said. “All they had in those days were medical emergency technicians. We have really evolved now.”
These men also worked for Foster-Wheeler and that was the thing to do in those days. All of them had more than a fair share of bad calls over the decades.
Perry said the worst was when he had a child involved at the scene of the accident.
“I went to Scottsburg for a car accident. The girl and the baby were in the car, and the guy driving was drunk,” he said. “The baby was under the dash and dead. When the guy called the next day and asked for an ambulance to take him to Rochester we wouldn’t. I said let him walk. When you see a little kid like that it is the worst thing.”
Hamsher talked about one of his worst being his first call he ever went on.
“It was an MVA (motor vehicle accident) on Glenn Hill. Myself and my partner arrived at the scene,” he said. “There was three cars involved with eight people. There was one killed and the others were greatly injured. We got them all in that Ford Station Wagon.”
King said his reason for starting in the ambulance was to help people.
“There were a lot of bad ones,” he said. “I can’t tell you what my worst was. I just know there were a lot of bad ones.”
Jerry Jackson, Dansville Ambulance Co. former president gave Genesee Country Express a tour of the 2018 Ambulance, EMS Rescue Trailer, and the Gator.
“We are all there for one another,” Jackson said. “We help the Springwater-Wayland EMS, Nunda EMS, and Canaseraga EMS when they struggle. We have been extra busy with mutual aid situations. We get a lot of calls to the Swain Resort in the winter time.”
The Mass Gathering Trailer of EMS Rescue Trailer is a command center for the Dansville Ambulance Co. in the case of a mass shooting or mass casualty situation.
This command center has lots of extra supplies to help in any situation, and has made it much easier for the ambulance.
“We have used this at many festivals so far like the Dansville Balloon Festival, Naples Grape Festival, Cohocton Fall Foliage, Wayland Potato Festival, Avon Corn Festival, and Hemlock Fair,” Jackson said. “We have lots of extra supplies in bins so we can put them in our tents at the festivals. We used to have to fill our vehicles up and drive back and forth from the base to get supplies.”
The command center charts make it much easier to keep track of multiple injured in a mass casualty situation. These charts offer input on what mutual aid is available, what ambulance is taking how many patients, and where those patients are going. It also provided a triage chart that tells which patients are not operable.
Sen. Catharine Young is held in high praise by Jackson for her help in securing a grant for the EMS Rescue Trailer and the Dansville Ambulance Gator.
“We have been using the gator more and more lately,” he said. “We use it for bad hunting accidents deep in the woods, the bad UTV accident at Skybrook, at the Dansville Balloon Festival, and at the garbage truck accident when they guy was thrown into the field.”
Jackson said it was hard to get people out of these situations in the past due to bad terrain and night, but now they have the gator to get them a smooth ride to safety.
The 2018 Ambulance has saved a lot of hassle as well with all the new equipment, and extra bells and whistles that come with it.
“We got a great deal on this ambulance, because it was used as a demo ambulance to show off,” Jackson said. “We have the layout on this similar to the one in the older rig. We know where all the equipment is, so we can access it quickly. There is a child’s car seat built in for cases with children. We have great lighting and it is much easier to clean.”
As of now the Dansville Ambulance Co. has had 1,040 calls, and they expect to have about 300 more before the years over. As always they are looking for members, and anyone interested can fill out an application at the base.
Dansville Fire Department is about 150 years old, and they came to help celebrate this milestone.
Glenn Camuto, Dansville Fire Department fire chief said that they were asked to bring a table and some fun things for the children to do.
“It is nice they have been around so long, and are still getting constant membership,” he said. “We have a great working relationship with the ambulance. We are often on calls together, and these guys help us out a lot.”
The Dansville Fire Department has an open house coming up Oct. 13 from noon to 3 p.m. at their base. There will be bounce houses and demos put on there. They too are looking for members that can fill out applications at base. The fire department has had 221 calls so far this year.
Heather Stephens, UR Medicine/Noyes Health Stroke Coordinator and Nursing Educator said that she was happy to be part of the special day.
“We are here to talk about stroke prevention, and how it is the number five cause of death,” she said. “It is 100 percent preventable if people pay attention to the signs. They can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. They are at higher risk if they smoke and drink. They need to stay fit and active.”
The Dansville Ambulance Co. has a very good relationship with the hospital, according to Stephens, the ambulance brings in most of the patients.
UR/Medicine/Noyes Health has become the prime center for stroke patients in the region. They had 129 stroke patients last year. They have been given the silver and gold medal for their work in this field.
Stephens said that there is a new technology coming out that is going to be showcased at Noyes Health for stroke patients to talk with the Strong Memorial neurologist. This is called Telestroke Services and will be available soon. It is hooking up an iPad to a device that will allow the neurologist to see the patients.