Years ago, ambulance services were run by the local funeral homes and hearses were used to ferry patients to local hospitals. Attendants had very little training and little equipment.
Following World War II, rescue squads and ambulance services began to emerge in the United States. In 1950 and during the Korean War, the United States Military started experimenting with the use of helicopters as a rapid mode of transporting sick and injured soldiers back to field hospitals. The use of "field or combat medics" as well as "field hospitals" would carry over into the civilian world and eventually revolutionize Emergency Medical Services.
The "Highway Safety Act of 1965" provided funding to "officially" train ambulance personnel. CPR began being used and the first paramedics were trained in New York City under the newly passed act of 1965. A major pit fall arose, however, since laws only permitted physicians to provide patient care. The newly trained paramedics became benevolent "cart before the horse" and the newly trained personnel were referred to as "Impotent Wonders."
It wasn't until 1970 that then California Governor Ronald Regan pushed for the recognition of "physician delegates" allowing the trainees to use their skills. Five years after their initial training, ambulance personnel could finally treat patients they'd been trained to care for. Other states soon followed suit and EMS was born.
Trained in advanced first aid and now able to use their skills, the general rule of thumb was to get the patient to the emergency room as quickly as possible. Stabilizing a patient on scene was unheard of at that time and ambulances weren't mush more than a ride to the hospital.... hence the title "ambulance drivers."
In the 1960's and early 1970's the lessons learned during the Vietnam War about effective patient care prior to arriving at a hospital changed the face of emergency medicine and catapulted EMS into a profession. In 1972 a popular TV series called "Emergency" is credited with giving EMS the jump start it needed. By 1980 paramedics and EMTs were training and treating patients across the nation.
In 1967 local city and county officials saw a need to provide a more effective means of emergency medical services to the citizens and visitors of Morgan County. Commissioners Conrad Schafer, Donald Queen and Adrian Ehernberger signed a resolution establishing a not for profit corporation enterprise fund for the Morgan County Ambulance Service. Since its inception, the ambulance service has been fully funded by the users of the service.
The ambulance service was originally structured as a volunteer ambulance service encompassing the communities of Fort Morgan and Brush; the Wiggins community was added in 1975.
Volunteers were classified as either "trained" or "drivers." Training in 1967 meant you needed to hold certification in "Basic First Aid" within 4 months of hire. Within 8 months of hire, all members had to be certified in "Advanced First Aid." Other requirements included members being in good health and free from disease, drinking "on duty" was not allowed and members had to have a chauffer's license.
Equipment carried in 1967 - Onc cot completely made up, a #27 cot (scoop), two good blankets, two extra blankets and two pillows, one first aid kit, one bottle of oxygen, one change of linen, one hand flood light, one fire extinguisher, sand bags and one emesis basin.
Morgan County operates two paramedic ambulances 24/7. Each crew is manned with one Paramedic and one EMT basic. One crew stations in Brush and the other in Fort Morgan. In addition we have on call members in Wiggins who respond in a ambulance housed in the Wiggins Fire Department.
To hold a EMT basic certification requires 150 hours of training.
Paramedics are required to hold a EMT basic certification have college A&P 1 & 2 along with 1200 to 1800 hours . Both certifications require 36 hours a year of continuing education.
1 - 1964 Olds Ablewagon
1 - 1961 Mercury station wagon
1 - 1954 Pontiac Ambulance
Total Value $5,300.00
A Basic Unequipped Ambulance in 2016 - $165,000 - $180,000 Original charges: Morgan County Residents Local calls - $25.00 plus $1.00/mile Hospital transports - $80.00 from FM and $90.00 from Brush Non-Morgan County Residents add $25.00 to the above charges Current rates: $900.00 base rate $23 a mile