Historical Timeline

Date

Event

May, 1958

Greece Chamber of Commerce meeting discussed the possibility of an ambulance service for Greece Ridge and North Greece fire districts.

July 25, 1958

The certificate of incorporation is filed with the New York Department of State at a cost 0f $40.00, signed by directors:

Fred Conway, Marvin Goldblatt, Fred Di Nardo, Fred Strauss, Francis Cramer, Carl Hudson, Vincent Tofany, Walter Whelehan, John Borrelle, John Nolte, James Barlow, George Germeroth, Jr.

August 18, 1958

First Fund Drive with a goal of $20,000 to provide service to 18,000 residents. One hundred people canvassed the covered areas and raised $13,000.

September 29, 1958

First Board meeting. Purchased a used ambulance for $6,000. About 120 people attend a 10-15 hour First Aid course.

December 22, 1958

Letter sent out to residents announcing the start of a free around the clock ambulance service on January 1, 1959.

January 1, 1959

Greece Volunteer Ambulance Service, Inc. (GVA) opened for business at 0800, transporting its first patient later that day. GVA covered the North Greece and Ridge Road fire districts, about 18,000 people. The ambulance was initially housed in the sewage treatment plant on Latta Road east of Dewey Avenue (1100 Latta Road). The initial uniform included a hat and a white jacket and pants.

January 7, 1959

At the meeting of the Board of Directors, the Rules and Regulations of GVA are adopted.

February 4, 1959

First monthly report – 36 runs.

March 4, 1959

The first transmitter, connected to Fire Headquarters in Rochester, was installed in ambulance. The ambulance given official designation of “A-6”.

April, 1959

Over 200 volunteers manned the Base fulltime.

April 21, 1959

Land for new Base was purchased with a lot size of 100’ x 436’ located on the west side of Long Pond Road near English Road (867 Long Pond Road).

April 29, 1959

About 220 people attend a 10-15 hour First Aid course.

July, 1959

The first Special Recognition Citation was given to members who served more than 100 hours during the first 6 months. Some of the members receiving this citation were George Todd (458 hours), Al Couch (305 hours), V. Isaac (200 hours) and Joe Vogt (190 hours).

August 12, 1959

Cornerstone of new base laid by Vincent L. Tofany and Fred Strauss.

November 5, 1959

Moved to new base at 867 Long Pond Road. The Base was designed to look like a house, blending in with the surroundings. Base dedicated. First Open House – 500 attend.

First Year – 1959

357 calls, over 26,000 volunteer hours donated by over 200 volunteers. An estimated 35 to 55 lives saved.

February 16, 1960

First baby born in A-6, a boy. Crew: Charles Kosko and Perter Rowley.

February 10, 1960

First call for more volunteers.

May 9, 1960

First rescue breathing demonstration at Roswell Park Institute. First Awards Dinner held at DeMay’s to honor Walt Whelehan for guiding GVA through the first year.

April 18, 1961

1,000th call logged.

May 11, 1961

First County Emergency Aid Station recognized by the American Red Cross.

August 6, 1961

First long distance transport, Waterloo to Northside Hospital. Crew: Al Couch and Dwight Bemish.

January 11, 1962

Need for new ambulance: 35,200 miles.

June, 1962

First new ambulance, Cadillac, purchased for $10,000.

October 22, 1962

First trophy mistakenly given to Greene Co. Volunteer Ambulance, which was later corrected and presented to GVA. The trophy was won by the First Aid Competition Team in Endicott, NY.

November, 1962

First GVA newsletter published – the “Flasher”.

May, 1963

First 5,000 miles without an accident.

July 10, 1963

First time flag unfurled, Barnard parade. First attempt to allow women on ambulance. Women allowed to ride on the ambulance if other crew members didn’t object. If a crew member objected, the women was left at the Base. Initially women’s uniform included skirts. More discussion followed.

1964

First time GVA cries for help. Fund drive $4,000 short of goal.

1965

Women ride ambulance for short time, then discontinued; too much controversy.

January 12, 1966

GVA receives Safety Award: 100,000 miles with no accidents.

1966 Two ambulances in service. Pontiac becomes "A-16”, stored a sewage treatment plant for transports.

1966

GVA treasurer stole all GVA available funds.

1966

Base expansion, new bay for garage and a bedroom, completed.

1967

First Emergency Medical Technician’s course held at the Manger Hotel in Rochester. Eleven GVA members become EMTs.

January, 1968

“Overalls” approved by Board for members. Open house to show new ambulance and new quarters. GVA is averaging 2 to 4 calls per day; 1,250 a year. In addition, GVA handled 226 walk-ins.

1969

Construction of new meeting room, office and Board room started.

January, 1970

Construction of new meeting room, office and Board room completed.

1970

Women allowed to ride ambulances for transports only. Later women are allowed to be medics and drivers.

April 21, 1971

First disaster call. One of the Sears store walls collapsed during construction. Difficulty realized in freeing victims under bricks. 2 killed, 4 injured.

1972

Flood strikes. Man dies as wall of his home collapses.

1973

EMT’s train and observe at Rochester General Hospital.

1974

Heart Association honors GVA for effort in “Heart Saver Course”.

September, 1975

Park Ridge Hospital opened. Patients transferred by GVA from Park Avenue Hospital to Park Ridge Hospital.

January, 1976

GVA notified the Mobil Critical Care Committee of their desire to participate in ALS program providing service to Greece Ridge and North Greece Fire Districts.

1976

Women’s softball team formed.

November, 1976

Dodge Monaco station wagon donated by Transitown Dodge for use as Medic 4 ALS vehicle.

June 29, 1977

Medic 4 put in service. Coronary care brought to patient. By end of 1977, Medic 4 responded to 260 calls, an average of 11 per week.

November 26, 1978

Holiday Inn fire. Major disaster. 10 died, 34 injured. Many GVA members responded from home to assist victims.

1978 GVA responded to 2,400 ambulance calls.
1979 Base was expanded enlarging the single car garage to four bays to house three ambulances, enlarging the first floor bedroom area for overnight crews, a larger dispatch area, an enclosed area for supervisors and crew chiefs, an enlarged first-aid room and kitchen, an improved interior paging system, a meeting hall and classroom for training.

October, 1980

Lakeshore Fire Department transferred their ambulance service to GVA.

1981 All female crews permitted during overnight shifts.

1983

GVA responded to 3,014 ambulance calls.

January, 1984

GVA responded to 40,988 ambulance calls since starting service.

January thru May, 1984

GVA responded to 1,189 ambulance calls.

May 22, 1984

25 years of community service. GVA now has 3 ambulances, 1 fly-car and 137 volunteer members. BLS and ALS service to Greece Ridge, North Greece and Lakeshore Fire Districts.

1987

GVA responded to 3,500 ambulance calls.

1988

ALS in service 75% of the time; responded to 1,200 calls thru early August, 1988.

1988

Auxiliary formed to assist in administration; 20 members.

June 26, 1990

Armored truck robbery. GVA called to treat armored truck robbery participant.

1990

Dick Johnston and Veronica Manchester honored for over 20,000 hours over 30 years’ service.

September 18, 1991

Two ambulances and eight members sent to New York City for three days to relieve local EMS after September 11, 1991 terorist attack. Transported three injured rescue workers.

October, 1991

Start of Base expansion at a cost of $290,750.00. This expansion included the addition of two garages for the flycars, storage space, additional meeting rooms, a second living room for a second duty crew, expansion of the four-bay ambulance garage for six emergency vehicles, remodeling the front entrance for handicapped access, an additional upper floor with two bedrooms and a bathroom, and a new heating and cooling system using heat pumps to individually control the temperature in most rooms.

1991

Contracted with commercial agency to provide backup ALS and ambulance service. Stopped paging for volunteer crew members if an emergency call was received when no ambulance was in service. A backup ambulance was dispatched from the commercial agency immediately instead.

1991

Changed duty uniform from all white to include blue pants.

February 15, 1992

Base expansion completed.

1994

Hired the first career staff. There was a career personnel supervisor separate from the director of operations. Started third party billing.

1995 Annual fund drive discontinued.

2002

Dick Johnston retires after 42 years of service to GVA.

April 2004

GVA named EMS Agency of the Year by STEP of the Monroe-Livingston EMS Council.

March 1, 2005

Greece Ridge Fire District decides to have Monroe Ambulance provide primary EMS response in place of GVA. This resulted in about a 50% reduction in the number of GVA calls.

July, 2006 Ambulance 2779 was formally dedicated to NYS trooper Andrew Sperr who on March 1, 2006 had been fatally shot in the line of duty. His father, Andy, is a GVA life member.
2006 GVA purchased two adjoining properties at 1806 and 1834 English Road. The property at 1816 was purchased when it came available. This makes a site of over 3 acres. It has 262 feet of frontage on English Road and 102 feet on Long Pond Road, with a depth of 517 feet back from Long Pond. There is access to both Long Pond and English roads.
April, 2007 Discontinued dispatching at GVA, contracted with North Greece Fire Department for the service.
March, 2008 Greece Ridge Fire Department signed a contract for GVA to provide ambulance backup for Monroe Ambulance when they could not respond to a call.

July, 2008

North Greece dispatches from GVA dispatch area while their facilities are renovated.

2012 Fund drive resumed, offering the community the opportunity to help GVA with the upgrade or purchase of needed equipment.
June 1, 2016 Dispatching of GVA transferred from North Greece Fire Department to the 911 Center.
January, 2017 Base remodel started. All new kitchen appliances were purchased, new flooring was installed throughout the Base, a new computer area was created where the front living room was, the old dispatch room was converted to the on-duty supervisor's office, the Board of Directors office was painted and the rear training area was transformed into a state of the art training facility with break out and simulation rooms.

August 14, 2017

Due to dwindling number of active volunteers, GVA changes its' bylaws to allow non-active GVA members to be officers of the Board of Directors.

April, 2018

Base remodel completed.

June 15, 2018 At 1700, GVA assumed responsibility for providing EMS coverage for the Hilton Parma Fire District.