|On October 28, 1972
the Cottage Hose Ambulance Corps. Inc. began its service to the Carbondale
The idea of a community
ambulance was first discussed early in 1972, at a meeting of the Cottage
Hose Fire Company. After deciding the company could tackle the problem,
a committee comprised of several members of the Cottage Hose Fire Company
was formed to spearhead the drive. Sister M. Cephas Ryan, administrator
of St. Joseph’s Hospital, was to serve as chairman along with Richard Deney,
administrator of Carbondale General Hospital serving as honorary chairman.
An extensive training
program for the future corpsmen had begun in February, encompassing Standard
and Advanced First Aid and State Ambulance Attendant training.
Training was provided
by the Carbondale / Forest City chapter of the American Red Cross.
Volunteer corpsmen from local ambulance companies in the surrounding areas
also assisted in training and to give their viewpoints on starting the
operation. Backed by the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce and Carbondale
Citizen Committee, the start of Carbondale’s new community ambulance had
Meanwhile, a three-stage
fund drive was initiated that would entail business, industries and a door-to-door
residential campaign. Soliciting in Carbondale, Carbondale Twp.,
Fell Twp., Simpson, Childs and White’s Crossing, the members had collected
over $18,000 in donations which would be used to purchase a new ambulance
and erect a building.
Along with $7,500
of state matched funds, a fully-equipped 1972 International Ambulance was
purchased. For the most part, corps members constructed their own
garage with the donated labor of a Local Bricklayers Union. In October
of 1972, the corps began service with some 30 members and responded to
517 calls within their first year.