History of New City Volunteer Ambulance Corps/Rescue Squad

New City Volunteer Ambulance Corps/Rescue Squad found its beginning in the dedicated efforts of a few pioneers.

                During the late '50s, as the community aggressively developed with the opening of the Tappan Zee Bridge, members of the Nanuet Community Ambulance Corps who resided in the Hamlet of New City, realized the extensive need for a local and immediate response emergency medical service. Beset with a shortage of funds, the group applied for and was granted a State Charter on June 22, 1960 to operate under the name-"New City Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Inc." This occurrence was a most memorable day for New City and Clarkstown.

                Advancing personal dollars and a commitment of promissory notes, the Charter members soon procured an old Pontiac Ambulance from the Nanuet Corps and went into service. To house this vehicle, the first Corps quarters was established in rented space, at 3rd Street, off Main in New City. Three years later the Corps relocated to a site provided by Mr. Nemeroff, near the current Post Office.

                The early years of the Corps were difficult years and the members struggled to provide service specified in the preamble of their constitution and by-laws...

"For the common good of the residents and persons in the New City area and the well being thereof, we associate ourselves together as a non-profit organization for the following purposes: To provide emergency, medical and ambulance service to this community, at any time such service may be necessary, and to maintain within reasonable limits, for loan to residents of this area certain health care appliances and other equipment as available, without charge for any service rendered."

                During this time annual call volume approximated 300 calls. Training of personnel was conducted under the auspices of the American Red Cross and a knowledge of Basic First Aid became the initial requirement. As time went by Advanced First Aid became the required mandate. The Corps operated on a shoe string budget, and door to door collections were standard part of the annual fund drive. The visibility of the Corps was prominent at every community function . . . sports games, parades, picnics and fairs. The pride of the Volunteer Medic was foremost, with concerned professional service becoming an extended hand of caring, available 24 hours a day.

                The organization grew in numbers and attrition was always a problem. Nonetheless, dedicated citizens have always come forward and New City Volunteer Ambulance Corps survived and flourished. In 1967 it once again relocated its quarters to a more central and accessible location, the DeBevoise Post American Legion Building. Here in a two car garage (barn) with and adjacent 15' x 15' room, the Corps ran its functions and maintained two Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulances (The olde Grays). Expansion was inevitable. In these crowded quarters was planted the seed for finding a permanent home. It was during this period that the Corps' first female members joined the ranks. This decision provided the organization with a new source of Active Riding Members; helped bolster the ranks of the dwindling volunteers specifically during day time tours and gave rise to "The Order of the Roadrunner" a unique group of members who put in a tremendous amount of service time.

                As New City's populace continued to grow it was time to decide where to strategically locate and how to become our own landlord. After an extensive search and much debate, in 1973 the Corps purchased the Ward property on Congers Road and soon broke ground for its permanent home and headquarters.

                As cement, mortar and steel came together to mold this new edifice, the spirit of accomplishment was at its peak. Laborers and craftsmen from all of the building trades came forth and gave of themselves hours of free labor and skills. Our new home soon became a dream come true.

                With the building dedication in September 1974, a new era in health care service began. The concept of training all members to a new level of performance, "The Emergency Medical Technician" (EMT) was an ongoing goal. Elevation of the Corps from "Registered" to "State Certified" marked a milestone in State recognition of our credentials, making New City Volunteer Ambulance Corps the first Certified Corps in Rockland County. Application to the State's surplus equipment program enriched us with a third emergency vehicle which we devotedly called "the MASH Unit-244". This converted Military Ambulance could travel mountainous hills and ford deep waters as would be necessary when we responded to the New City Condominium Flood Disaster in 1976.

                CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) training sessions were standard for the community as many sought to learn the life saving techniques. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and various community groups filed throughout the building to see the operation of a Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

                Realizing that the youth of New City sought an opportunity to share in this community service, The New City Volunteer Ambulance Youths Corps was founded. The aim of this project was to set the groundwork for creating an interest as future volunteers and to develop career goals among the youth in various aspects of the Medical profession.

                As skills continued to develop and the ability of our member's efforts to respond to disaster emergencies were evident, we added to our title the designation "Rescue Squad".

                Mock drills with other Corps, Fire, Police and the Sheriff's Department proved to be a viable benefit in preparedness. New City Volunteer Ambulance responded heroically to the Gilchrist Crossing-School Bus/Train collision; to the Haverstraw train tunnel fire and to the gas tanker spill on Route 59.

                Each day of the year the clock ticked the men and women of New City's Corps responded to those who sought medical assistance. New, sophisticated equipment was added and updated in conformity with the aim of patient care and comfort. New extrication devices, collars, boards and new advanced versions of oxygen administration equipment were procured. The Corps spared no expense in adjusting to modern methods relative to a patients need. Larger, module type ambulances replaced the old restricted movement vehicles. Communications and dispatch procedures were developed. In 1971 the Corps applied for and received the first ambulance radio frequency of its own from the FCC. This frequency has now become the basic ambulance transmission frequency in the County. Squad leader communications by telephone to crews were replaced by beeper monitors and pagers. This new approach reduced response time and provided each member with greater mobility. Access to a greater number of ambulance personal, in the event of a catastrophe, was another benefit.

                The Corps remained restless in its quest for continued improvements and soon ALS (Advanced Life Support) was being hailed as the next set direction. As New City Volunteer Ambulance Corps inched its way to this new level . . . "walkie-talkie" hand set response units were purchased. The mobile telephone expanded communication between personnel, the ambulances and other ambulance Corps. Ambulance/ Hospital communications are now standard and Nyack or Good Samaritan Hospital are but a push button tone away from the rig attendant.

                We are now in our 48th year. From a somber and simple beginning we have realized a continuous progression of events. Time did not stand still and our members over the years have with fervent dedication contributed to the magnitude of our accomplishments.

                We record with pride a current roster of 75 Active riding members; the availability of 4 State Certified ambulances; a Supervisor's Emergency response car; and the special "MASH" disaster unit. All of our members hold EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) credentials or are in the process of achieving same. An EVOC curriculum (Emergency Vehicle Operating Course) is offered, which qualifies our drivers as proficient ambulance operators. In addition, "Continuing Medical Education Courses" are available. These courses are designed to help develop greater expertise and improve performance in emergency care, through exposure to new methodology and technical updates. "CME" courses earn academic credits, which can be of value in EMT recertification or assist in the achievement of higher level medical credentials.

                Our Corps responds to all medical emergency calls "24 - 7". Calls are characterized as Basic (BLS) or Advanced (ALS) life support types. Responding to ALS, New City Ambulance Volunteers perform as part of a "Life Support Team" with Clarkstown's contracted, paid, Paramedic staff. Each rig/ambulance, is equipped with an AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) which is of critical value in cardiac emergencies. To improve response time, we recently installed the "GPS" street address locator, a Global Positioning System. This mechanism enables us to gain explicit road directions to the location of any accident area or medical emergency address. To enhance this response device, we have incorporated use of the "Opticon System". This is a system which can override a traffic signal light, permitting it to be changed, as necessary to expedite movement in traffic. One can readily conclude that the Corps moves forward with the best of new technology, in a most positive direction.

                Since the September 11th, 2001 terror attack, we continue to develop new concepts in our approach to the management of mass casualty events (MCI's). We've devised security and protective measures to safeguard our vehicles and their crews. We are jointly committed with the various emergency departments (Police, Fire and Sheriff) to promote community safety, protection, and adequate medical care. The Ambulance Corps' pursuit of preparedness, by participation in mock drills, offers hands on training in the management of biological, chemical or radiological mass casualty events. The Corps and the Community are engaged in programs to insure that all critical response requirements are realized at an optimum.

                New City Volunteer Ambulance Corps/RS is an organization that keeps alert to change. We plan in anticipation of need and attempt to do all that is possible to ensure a viable medical emergency response. Our story is reflected in our history. This history in turn, is our legacy to those who are to follow. It is a vivid documentation of the effort of myriads of dedicated volunteers who have unselfishly come forward over the years and who have performed with excellence. It is a history shrouded in continuing community support and pride ...it is the absolute mark of a caring people.