The Formation of Emergency Services in Randolph
On September 12, 1966, the Randolph Fire Company received notification that Funeral Directors would be discontinuing their ambulance service effective October 31, 1966.
“Approximately 50 percent of the country’s ambulances were provided by 12,000 morticians, mainly because their vehicles could accommodate transportation on litters. But in most instances, as in the case of many privately-owned ambulances, the vehicle was unsuitable for active care during transportation, equipment and supplies were incomplete, and the attendants are not properly trained.”
Sixteen men completed their first aid training with additional “ambulance” training provided by the Chautauqua County Ambulance Service in Jamestown. RREMS recognizes Dale Senn and Bill Sharp as members that continue to this day.
On November 29, 1966, the Emergency Rescue Squad of the Randolph Fire Company was adopted.
The squad’s first ambulance was a used 1963 Pontiac purchased for $2,500 using $1,000 that was provided as a donation by Mrs. Margaret Fish. The first replacement vehicle, a new Cadillac ambulance was purchased in 1970.
In 1972, the Elibomwons snowmobile club donated a rescue sled. When attached behind the snowmobile, this sled enabled a safe and efficient method of transporting a patient out of an inaccessible area.
In December 1974, the Rescue Squad purchased a new Lifeline ambulance on a Cadillac chassis at a cost of $18,250.
In the following year in recognition of their proficiency in emergency treatment, the first aid team of the Randolph Rescue Squad won first prize at the Cattaraugus County Firemen’s Convention. Many additional awards were earned during the following events.
March 1977, took a new and higher step with its purchase of a “Cario-pak 936/M Defibrillator monitor at a cost of $4,150. It was reported that “the heart monitor, which will be a permanent part of the ambulance, can be used to monitor the cardiac output of a patient in his home or during the trip to the hospital in the ambulance, thus providing the hospital emergency staff with more accurate information”.
In 1978, the Rescue Squad decided to obtain state certification for the ambulance. Such certification dictated minimum standards for equipment and personnel training and would provide state funding for additional training and equipment. Notification was received in October that it was certified and now required to be stocked with basic supplies and that a state trained Emergency Medical Technician must be present on every emergency call. The ambulance was installed with radio communications to provide direct communication with the hospital.
1980, the Fire Company and Rescue Squad were in need of a new ambulance. Finances at the time were very limited. When the community learned of this need, the local Lion’s Club offered its service in sponsoring a drive to secure necessary funds. After fundraising, a new modular “box style” ambulance was purchased on a 1981 Chevrolet chassis. This unit went into service on November 10th. At the time, modular style ambulances were designed to move the box from old to new chassis. This did not occur, as cost of fitting and securing did not support just purchasing a new rig.
In 1982, the Randolph Fire Company and Rescue Squad spent $500 for extrication equipment to create a Silo Rescue Team. The team had devised new techniques for the treatment and removal of injured patients trapped inside silos. This team practiced and put on several demonstrations throughout the state. Thankfully, the team only responded once while in operations to Great Valley. Because of OSHA and other legal issues, the team dissolved in the late 1980’s.
The following information was included in the 1985 one hundred year history book.
Randolph Rescue Squad
The Randolph Rescue Squad presently has 27 active members and answers calls in the Town of Randolph, Villages of Randolph and East Randolph, and portions of the Towns of Napoli and Conewango. The Squad averages nearly 30 calls a month, operating out of a State Certified 1981 Chevrolet modular ambulance with a 1977 Ford utility van as a reserve ambulance as needed. Members of the Rescue Squad have undergone extensive training. Within the Squad, there are various levels of training ranging from Advanced First Aid up to Advanced Emergency Technician Level III, with some members holding more than one type of certification.
Presently there are:
13 Advanced First Aider
7 Emergency Medical Technicians Basic
4 Emergency Medical Technicians I
4 Emergency Medical Technicians II
4 Emergency Medical Technicians III
4 Registered Nurses.
Randolph Regional Emergency Service Corporation (RREMS)
On January 1, 2013, RREMS was created due to the increase in operating cost in Emergency Services that the Randolph Fire Company had operated for over 47 years.
With the creation of the Randolph Regional Emergency Services Corporation, patients would now be billed for transports via the Randolph Ambulance.
The corporation started out with 16 members, which included Emergency Medical Technicians and drivers. Several people wanted to join and be involved with emergency services without having to go through “firefighter training.”
In 2016, RREMS took over the EMS operations from the Coldspring Rescue Squad. At the time, Coldspring had only one regular EMT and requested “mutual aid” with most of the calls.
Randolph 10 becomes operation in the beginning of 2018 at the beginning of its’ fifth year.
“Most recently, the agency has added a fly car to its ambulance fleet to cut emergency response times. The 2017 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor utility vehicle was put into service January 2017.
Dave Senn, president of RREMS, explained the advantages of having a fly car in the EMS fleet with the two current ambulances. He said when a call comes in; the fly car will enable paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMT) to go to the scene and start medical care right away, rather than wait for an ambulance.
“The medical personnel can triage to determine what needs to be done. A lot of times people don’t need to be transported,” he said. “If the person does need to be transported to the hospital, the EMS personnel have already started care and treatment before the ambulance arrives.”
According to Senn, the fly car is particularly ideal in a cardiac arrest situation because one person alone can start doing high-quality resuscitation using Auto Pulse, an automated chest compressor, until help arrives. He said RREMS is the only predominantly volunteer EMS in the 2018 area with an Auto Pulse device.” also established to create paid staff members that could provide day-time coverage when it has been difficult to cover calls.
With a current membership of 41 members that include 11 Paramedics and 15 EMT’s, the future continues to grow as building plans are in development to house all equipment and provide dorm style housing for staff.
Currently, Randolph 8 and 10 are stationed at the Randolph Fire Company on Main Street in Randolph. Randolph 8B, continues to be stationed at the Coldspring Fire Hall in Steamburg.