History of Tuxedo Volunteer Ambulance Corps
TVAC was founded in 1956 by a small group of residents who recognized the need for an ambulance service in the town of Tuxedo. These residents included Sam Mottola, Henry Melbado, Mary Blagden, Hon. Katherine St. George, Emil Boss and Edna Small. With the help of the taxpayers of Tuxedo, these members purchased a 1956 White Cadillac ambulance, which was known as Tuxedo 944 (Photo to the right). They housed the ambulance in a one bay garage, next to the fire department, where Carlon industries is located today along Route 17. The ambulance service was provided free of charge for all residents township of Tuxedo.
The ambulance corps averaged 15 calls a month covering the busy Route 17, Sterling Forest Ski Center and the Harriman State Park. All patients were transported to the Tuxedo Memorial Hospital, now the Elant at Tuxedo, where Dr. John Van Zandt ran the emergency room.
In the late months of 1960, Corps members acquired a permanent ambulance building. The Corps voted to accept the deed of a piece of property from the Tuxedo Park Association, located at 1 Contractors Rd, between Route 17 and the Erie Railroad.
Construction of the new ambulance building began in November 1961. The project was completed in July 1962 at a cost of $20,000. Over 400 people attended the dedication on July 2, 1962. The building was designed by Wallace Van Etten and erected by Sahler Construction Company. Following the ceremony the public was invited inside where the members displayed the ambulance equipment.
The original officers and Board of Directors were:
President: Sam Mottola
Vice President: Mrs. Edward Cavan
Secretary: Mrs. Crawford Blagden
Treasurer: Mrs. Louis Euvrard
Captain: William Iannone
First LT: Ronald Dowding
Second LT: Thomas Melillo
Board of Directors: Mrs. John McDonnell, Mrs. Herbert Redner, Mrs. Frank Welsh, Dr. John H. Doscher, Miss Bernice Davenport, Mr. Charles Fredrickson, Chief Edward Greene, Mr. Frank Brigham, Miss. Margaret Flanagan, and Dr. Joseph J. Kalna.
In 1973, the TVAC, with the help of community donations from the Tuxedo community, was able to purchase a dodge van type ambulance to replace the old Cadillac. At this time the dispatching was done by contacting the crew at their home via telephone and would then respond to the building to get the ambulance. The late 70s, saw the arrival of a paging system which replaced the telephone dispatch. The call volume also increased, averaging 250 calls per year. In the spring of 1978, Tuxedo Park resident Pompeo Maresi and his wife, Phoebe, donated $29,000 to the Corps for the purchase of a second ambulance, which increased the fleet to two rigs.
In late 1994, TVAC became New York State Certified. A certified ambulance corps meant the corps would have to comply with tougher regulations. For example, all ambulance calls required at least one Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) to be present on all calls. State inspectors also began to make surprise inspections. TVAC also purchased a new Ford E-350 Type III ambulance from PL Custom. The Corps also changed the trim on the ambulance from red to blue, which is the color seen on the ambulances today. In the 90s, TVAC also began to carry AEDs or automatic external defibrillators, in both ambulances.