BRENTWOOD EMS HISTORY
Seven volunteer firemen founded Brentwood Emergency Medical Services in 1977. They used a converted van ambulance, which also doubled as a police patrol vehicle. These seven volunteers served as attendants in the back of the ambulance and a police officer was the driver. They were Brentwood EMSís first EMTís. Those founding members were: Ken Lockhart, Rick Morrell, Mike Pace, Jake Kurtz, Bob Williams, Greg Winterhalter and Ken Peduzzi. The base was a cubical located in the police department, which was only accessible when no police business was being conducted.
In 1979, Brentwood EMS was reorganized and elected its first set of Officers. In 1980, the first Advanced Life Support ambulance was purchased and placed into service and we were able to render advanced care to our patients. In that same year, our first official EMS base came into existence in the basement of the borough building. In 1981, ALS was started with equipment that was loaned to us from Tri Community South EMS until we could purchase our own heart monitor. Brentwood EMS at that time had only had one paramedic, Mike Pace. In 1982, our first paramedics completed training through Community College of Allegheny County; they were Laurie Bruggerman, Joanne Cook, Suzi Izatt, Jim Izatt, Rosie Kurtz and Robby Oakes.
Striving to provide excellent patient care, we continued to progress forward. In June of 1983, Brentwood EMS successfully completed its first Voluntary Ambulance Service Certification. Brentwood EMS was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1984. In November of 1984, Brentwood EMS started its first subscription drive for borough residents and businesses that went into effect in January of 1985. In June of 1986, we purchased our second ambulance increasing our fleet to two units. In July of 1987, we purchased our first Medic 11, our Supervisorís response unit.
The community began to recognize our mentors for their hard work and several commendations were received. In January of 1989, Rick Morrell was named VFW Man of the Year followed up by Joanne Cook being named the South Hills Record Citizen of the Year in March of that same year. Recognitions didnít stop there for our leaders; in June of 1991, Joanne Cook was named as the Pennsylvania Department of Health Paramedic of the Year. When January of 1992 came around, the VFW named Joanne Cook as the VFW Person of the Year.
As our leaders were receiving recognitions, they lead us into the completion of our First State Licensure inspection in June of 1991. August of 1991 brought along the hiring of our first paid personnel; an Operations Supervisor, who was followed by the addition of 2 part-time EMTís in October of 1991. All of this in an effort to meet our staffing needs.
In May of 1992, we moved from the basement of the borough building into our current quarters on the ground level of the borough building. In February of 1996, Brentwood EMS purchased our third ambulance increasing our fleet to three ambulances. As we were growing, garage space became tight and in May of 1997 we completed construction of a garage in the borough building parking lot that would house our 3rd vehicle.
With the 21st Century now upon us, November of 2001 saw the unveiling of our website www.brentwoodems.com. Change didnít stop at that, that same month we started computerized trip sheets. The 21st Century also meant that it was time for a new look. That started with the unveiling of a new patch in July of 2002 at the Fourth of July Parade and followed up with new license plates in December of 2002.
In March of 2003 we instituted a scanning program for our Subscription Drive data entry and the state mandated HIPPA Laws that all members had to be trained in. That same month, thanks to the graciousness of State Representative Harry Readshaw, we able to get grant money that allowed us to update our training equipment. This consisted of a new laptop computer, power point projector and VCR. In April of 2003, new vending machines were placed at the base. July of 2003 was time for a new entrance sign with another new look, followed by new cellular phones in August.
ďMoving on upĒ, well maybe over. In June of 2004, the Borough gave approval for expansion of our space. This consisted of 2 of the garage bays that were formerly occupied by the fire department. In July we awarded bids for the renovations of this space to be made into a 4 vehicle garage which would include a laundry and supply area along with the expansion of the office area. Construction was completed in September and the official move was made in October. No more jaunts around the building when there was a call. We had to come up with a new workout program for the members. Ready, willing and able the membership came forth and began renovating the old base area. New stove, microwave, flooring, carpeting, ceilings and fresh paint on the walls; we were done by February of 2005.
Back to the new look. In December of 2006 we purchased high visibility jackets for the members, followed by high visibility vests in April of 2007. In May of this year we were able to paint Medic 533 and Squad 535 with our new paint scheme through a grant we received from Senator Fontana. A new heating and air conditioning unit was put in place in June. So as you can see, life is never boring for us. Work continues to increase despite our decline in membership. Young or old, old or new we are always in need of more members so that we can continue to provide the Brentwood Community and its surroundings with top quality care.
Our organization is proud to be currently operating 3 Advanced Life Support ambulances and a supervisor response vehicle. Our dedicated staff consists of 8 full-time paid staff, 13 part-time paid staff, 14 volunteer medical members and 14 associate members.
In 2007 Brentwood EMS proudly celebrated 30 years of service to our community.
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