Hollidaysburg American Legion Ambulance Service proudly holds the title as Blair County’s oldest continuously operating ambulance service.
In the1930’s, the Hollidaysburg American Legion Post 516 recognized the need for an emergency company in the Hollidaysburg Borough and surrounding area. This need was exaggerated with the increasing number of automobiles and the improvement of the road systems coming in and out of Hollidaysburg.
In 1939, the Hollidaysburg American Legion began looking for a mobile medical vehicle. By the end of the year, Hollidaysburg American Legion Ambulance Service was up and running with the purchase of a 1929 La Salle.
In 1941, a new Buick Ambulance was purchased by funds raised by the American Legion Post 516.
In 1949, the American Legion appointed a committee of 4 men to oversee the Ambulance Service. The committee members were A.L. Carberry, Lewis Metz, Sam Downing, and Harry Thompson. For several years, Metz’s Service Station on East Allegheny Street served as both the home and dispatch center for the ambulance.
In 1951, another ambulance was added to the fleet. 1951 Ford Ambulance costing $4,693.00
In 1952, Hollidaysburg American Legion Ambulance Service was logging approximately 60 calls per year. This made it impossible for fund drives and donations to pay for all expenses. To cover these expenses, the ambulance designed one of the “first club type” fundraising programs. This type of funding is still used today. The original cost of a membership was $2.00/year and included family membership with unlimited emergency use. Complete records are not available but we believe that approximately 200 memberships were sold that year.
In 1972, the first female ambulance attendant was recruited, her name was Jane Carles. She was the first female EMS Attendant in Blair County.
In 1975, the first E.M.T. class reached the Blair County area and more than reached its enrolment goals. By 1978, the first advances life support class was being held, certifying EMT’s with the ability to perform more advanced procedures. (Paramedics)
By 1986, the total call volume of Hollidaysburg Ambulance was over 1725 runs a year and volunteer staffing was feeling the stress of the hundreds of hours necessary to maintain medical care to the Hollidaysburg area. Hollidaysburg Ambulance boasts its claim as one of the first ambulance companies in the state to receive a Voluntary Ambulance Certification, and the first certified EMS company in the Southern Alleghenies EMS Council Region.
In 1987, Hollidaysburg American Legion Ambulance staffed the station with a full time manager, five paid paramedics and 10 emergency medical technicians in addition to its volunteer staff.
In 1997 Hollidaysburg American Legion built its main operating station in Scotch Valley and began operating from this location.
In 2000 a sub-station was placed in the Meadows Intersection so the company could better serve its veterans by a quick response time to the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home. Hollidaysburg Ambulance has had a long standing contractual agreement to service the Veterans Home, providing affordable medical care to the residents and continue to do so proudly.
In 2002 Hollidaysburg Ambulance made an agreement with Martinsburg Borough to staff the Martinsburg Area with a 24/7 Advanced Life Support Ambulance.
Hollidaysburg American Legion Ambulance Service prides itself for being a leader in the community, providing medical care and volunteer services for almost 100 years. The employees and management are committed to excellence in Emergency Medicine. Our staff of over 60 employees, maintains this level of excellence by providing cutting edge technology, up to date medical treatment, and overall great customer satisfaction.