early emergency medical service in the Delaware Fire Department began around
1940 and was very minimal. The training consisted of a 10-hour Red Cross first
aid course and the only equipment was a portable E. & I. resuscitator
carried on the ladder truck and used primarily for the benefit of the fire
fighters and any potential victims at the fire scene. On occasions the public
would call for help for difficulty breathing, respiratory problems and
drownings. A local funeral home would stop by the station and pick up one man
and the resuscitator and go to the scene, or the trip would be made in a
police cruiser, to give assistance. A second resuscitator was donated to the
department in 1951. Also, a portable iron lung had been donated to the
department during the mid-1940ís by the local Moose Club. This was at the
time that Infantile Paralysis was at its peak.
The service did not change much until 1960 when $1400 was donated to the
department to begin a more serious approach to E.M.S. A used 1956 station
wagon was purchased, repainted, equipped with lights and siren, a cot,
splints, oxygen and minor equipment. The department went through a 30-hour
emergency victim care course offered by the State of Ohio. All department
members completed the course and were called emergency medical technicians (E.M.
T .S.). This course was repeated every three years and eventually became a
60-hour course by 1965. In that first year, a total of 108 runs were made.
Operation in the vehicle was cramped for space and because there was no garage
space available, was parked outside the Fire Department.
First ambulance for emergency transport. A converted 1956 Ford station wagon purchased and outfitted in 1960 with donated money.
1965 a Chevrolet panel truck was purchased. The men built cabinets in it,
added additional equipment and, for the first time, had adequate space to
work. Still it remained parked outside. In 1969 the first van type vehicle
made by the Horton Co. was purchased. It had piped in oxygen, room for two
patients and stand-up room to work. The training time had risen to 90 hours by
this time and the number of runs totaled around 800, but the vehicle was still
parked outside and uncomfortable in the winter.
Second emergency squad was a new 1965 panel truck purchased and outfitted by department members. Driver, Richard Ward, kneeling, John Reese and David Chaney; standing, Chief Wilbur Bills, Captain William Shaw, Donald Morris.
By 1972 the Funeral Directors had given the County and City officials
notice of their intentions not to continue their response to any emergency
Federal funds had become available to set up services and provide
funding for emergency vehicles. The County set up a system in the Sheriff's
Office to provide ambulance cruisers for the County and applied for funding.
They also implemented a 1/2% sales tax to support it. The funding application
was approved and included a new 1972 van-type vehicle for the Fire Department.
The county gave the city $15.00 for each run from the 1/2% tax. This was
considered a reimbursement to city residents who were paying the tax. This
amount was adjusted up and down several times over the years.
In 1975 Chief Bills applied for federal funds to establish a Paramedic
Program with a more advanced level of trained personnel who could give IV's,
monitor and defibrillate the heart. This was turned down but the City agreed
to one-half the amount needed provided the other half came from the community.
A drive was started which included a radio-thon, public and private request
for donations and included some members of the medical community .The response
was great and soon exceeded the $17,500 needed. The City provided $17,500 and
with about $38,000 in hand, the paramedic vehicle was ordered. The first
training consisted of 200 hours at the Columbus Fire Department medic program.
The first six men who completed the course were Steve Robinson, Donald Morris,
Larry Milligan, Donald Snyder, Mike Olney and David Fish. With the training
complete and the delivery of the medic unit, the service began. The medical
community provided an advisory committee to monitor all runs and activity. Dr.
Judy Held acted as the medical advisor and signed the drug license. The
implementation of this service was undoubtedly the greatest example of total
community involvement and support ever displayed. The service continues to the
present time having improved many times over while providing emergency medical
service to hundreds of people.
More than 30 fire fighters have been trained as paramedics with 1,000
hours of training, with at least 4 trained medics on each crew. All others are
E.M. T. ' s with 110 hours of training. Another van-type vehicle was purchased
in 1978 and 1987. The Medic unit has had a new chassis and at this writing, a
new vehicle is on order.
For more than fifty years, some type of emergency medical service has
been offered by the Delaware Fire Department. For more than 30 years, a basic
E.M.T. program, and for more than 15 years, a paramedic program has been
provided for the citizens of Delaware. An amazing accomplishment in light of
the fact that in the beginning there were only seven fire fighters -not only
providing fire protection but emergency protection as well.
Third emergency squad was purchased in 1969 from the Horton Co. for $6,500. This was the first fully contained squad purchased with adequate headroom, working space, piped in oxygen and full equipment. Horton was a new company and this was the second unit they had assembled.
emergency squad was a 1972 Dodge van-type vehicle purchased by the county for
city use. No picture
Fifth emergency squad unit was the first Medic unit used by more highly trained personnel to treat victims with I.V.'s, E.K.G.'s, and more sophisticated equipment. It was a large modular-type vehicle which could be retained by simply replacing the chassis. It was delivered in Feb. 1976. From left to right Chief Wilbur Bills, Captain Richard Ward, Lieutenant Donald Morris, David Fish, Fred Moyer, Max Flahive and Ron Nist.
addition to Emergency Medical Service the department has been blessed in that
interested citizens donated money to purchase various tools for the extrication
of victims trapped in accident situations.
early tools consisted primarily of axes and pry bars. Later years brought on
more sophisticated equipment. The early hydraulic jacks were replaced by porto-powers
which consisted of various adaptors and greater tonnage capability .An acetylene
torch was donated by the Eagles Lodge in 1948 but was replaced by air chisels
which were capable of cutting, ripping and tearing away metal at the scene of an
accident. Gasoline powered saws with various blades for metal, wood and other
materials were added. When the Jaws-of-Life tool came on the scene in the early
1970's, the local C.B. club took upon themselves the task of raising nearly
$6,000 to purchase one for the department. It consists of a gasoline-powered
compressor, which operates various expanding adaptors and cutters, which operate
at high pressures to open jammed doors and/or removing tops of cars making safe
access to victims.
the 1983 Pierce pumper was purchased much of this equipment was placed on it to
respond to accident scenes adding the extrication capabilities to that of fire
protection. This was of particular importance when flammable liquids might need
fire protection as well.