On October 28, 1972 the Cottage Hose Ambulance Corps. Inc. began its service to the Carbondale area.
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 begun.
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.