History of the Ambulance Corps
The idea of an Ambulance Corps had been in the thinking of the Harrington Park Lions Club and Fire Department long before it became a reality. By the Spring of 1957, the Lions Club, under the presidency of Andrew Frank, and the Fire Department started actively to plan the beginning of a volunteer ambulance service in the Borough. These two groups worked together throughout the following months to solicit donations of materials to construct the headquarters and for money to purchase equipment . The necessary land, on the corner of Kline St. and Short Place was leased from the Borough and the Fire Company for $1. The expenses for the building were less than $500. Most of the labor except for the foundation work was performed by volunteers
The Corps was incorporated on April 12th 1957
The Lions Club provided the first ambulance, a used Cadillac, at a cost of $3275, with the money that had been collected The Lions Club and Fire Dept also combined to recruit the Charter Members of the new Corps. Before being certified as First Aiders, new members had to complete an eight-week course supervised by the American Red Cross. The Charter Members then set up a training program within the Corps to properly prepare new members
The official beginning of the Corps was December 1, 1957. They answered their first call on December 4th 1957
There were 39 Charter Members. The first Captain was Fred Quantmeyer Sr. and the first President was Benjamin Westervelt. Both men served two-year terms
After over six thousand miles and five and a half years, the original ambulance was replaced with a used Cadillac, at a cost of $6,750. The purchase in June 1963 was again made possible through donations. In May 1966 this ambulance was replaced new 1966 Oldsmobile.At this time were 44 members
Dispatching the Ambulance was done by phoning the members at home from the Dispatch Center in Mahwah or from the HP Police headquarters. The Corps later upgraded its dispatching system by providing each member with a home pager, and then upgraded to the current portable pagers.
A subsequent ambulance was a converted Cadillac hearse and a fourth rig went into service in 1974 with a modular design. The cost of the current (2004) ambulance, the sixth rig, was close to $100.000. The original building accommodated the ambulance and also served as a meeting room. But with the advent of bigger, better-equipped ambulances it was necessary to enlarge the quarters by adding on a separate garage. A committee was formed, led by Andrew Frank with Dr Stavrand and Marion Sunden. A special appeal went out to the town to pay for the new construction and the new ambulance. The Hackensack Water Company (now United Water) itself contributed $25,000 toward the construction cost of the new garage. The current facilities were opened in 1968
The original First Aid training was minimal by today’s (2014) standards. As time went on, training improved to include the EMT and First Responder requirements of the present day. All member are now trained to operate AEDs or Automatic External Defribillators
The first woman (Gail Overton) was admitted to the Corps in 1972. At one time women held all the executive and administrative posts. The Corps started to admit Junior members in 2001.
The Corps responds to all medical emergencies and Fire Calls and participates in all Town functions having a presence at the Ragamuffin Parade, the Memorial Day Parade and the Town Picnic, the annual Fishing contest, the various running and walking events, and any function that draws a crowd. They take their turn at Old Tappan Regional High School Football events. The Corps is a member of the 18th District of the New Jersey State First Aid Council. It actively participates in Mutual Aid with other towns in the Northern Valley area
Membership in the Corps in currently about 30 members
The Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007