Agency History

THE BIRTH OF OUR ORGANIZATION

In early 1968, a group from the Dansville Fire Department decided to establish an ambulance squad.  In the 1940's and 50's, the ambulance in Dansville was handled by the funeral directors of the area. 

In the early 1960's the Dansville Health Department took over the operations of the ambulance when the funeral directors notified the village board they would no longer be giving the village this service. The Dansville Police Department manned the ambulance for the health department. In 1968 the operations were turned over to the Dansville Volunteer Ambulance Squad.

The first meeting of the new squad was held on October 20, 1968 and accepted the operations of the ambulance in the Town of Dansville.

We had a squad of approximately 60 men from all four companies of the Dansville Fire Department (Protectives, Union Hose, Jackson Hose, and Hook & Ladder companies) and we were under the command of our first captain, the late John Welch. 

FUNDRAISING & OUR FIRST AMBULANCE

Our first ambulance was a Ford station wagon that the health department was using. With the help of the Dansville Lions Club and the members of the Dansville Fire Department, we have been able to purchase several ambulance since then with no cost to the tax payers of the village. We held house to house canvasses of the village and surrounding towns. In 1992 it was decided to go to a mail canvass for donations each year and then save until we have enough to purchase a new ambulance.

The system of scheduling the members for duty was first introduced by Dick Leven back in 1968. At that time we had 2 members on the day shift and 2 members on the night shift with 2 more members on the back-up.  Today we run with 3 on both shifts with no backup assigned.

OUR FIRST BASE

The first ambulance was housed behind the Hook & Ladder truck in the North Dansville Town Hall.  Later, the ambulance was moved to the Union Hose Truck House on Ossian Street where the ambulance was parked behind the Union Hose pumper. This made it very inconvenient. When there was an ambulance call, the truck had to be moved first.  In 1971, a permanent ambulance garage was built at 15 Ossian Street. That building was dedicated to John "Nipper" Welch.

Dansville Ambulance responded to a little over 500 calls 1970. In 1979, the need for more volunteers became more apparent and the corps needed to look outside the ranks of the four fire department companies. Seeing the need to recruit individuals who may not wish to be firefighters, the Dansville Fire Department Ambulance Company was inaugurated in as the official fifth company of the Dansville Fire Department.

In the late 1980's and throughout the early 1990's, EMS grew out of its infancy and the Dansville Ambulance grew along with it. A basic level New York State EMT course went from 45 hours in length to 130 hours. During the 90's the call volume more than doubled. Simple first aid supplies were supplemented by more advanced equipment such as Automated External Defibrillators and Intermediate Life Support. 

As the Dansville Ambulance Co. was getting ready to celebrate its first 25 years, it's leaders were ever mindful of the vast changes taking place in EMS and kept looking ahead to the future and anticipating the company's needs to meet all the new challenges that laid ahead. Having just three people running the corps, 1 captain and 2 lieutenants, was becoming impractical and many projects and administrative duties were being delayed far too long due to the lack of proper attention. In 1993 the corps voted to change its By-Laws to more closely reflect the officer structure in place today.

OUR NEW HOME

In October of 1995, the estate of Frances Woolever and Emma Evans left the Dansville Ambulance Company close to a quarter of a million dollars. With the corps needing to continually ask other organizations for meeting spaces and places to hold training classes, a great opportunity to construct a base of operations for the ambulance that would have enough room for meeting and training activities was at hand. Plans for the new base began in early 1996 with a preliminary location being the corner of Main and Knox Streets.

In August of 1996, plans were unveiled for a new ambulance base to be located on a vacant lot at 18 Ossian Street.

On September 28, 1997 a ground breaking ceremony was held at the site of the new ambulance base: 18 Ossian Street.

Finally, the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new ambulance base took place on May 16, 1998.