Retired Unit #20 York Emergency Services Rusts

I stopped in my tracks at Baughman’s Salvage Yard as I wandered around taking photos of vehicles in various states of decay.  There was a beautiful, (eye of the beholder) vintage ambulance or emergency vehicle among the lines of rusted vehicles, with York, PA, barely visible.

Imagine the stories that came with a ride in this ambulance.  The last date of inspection was 1999.

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Back in it's hay day.

Back in it’s hay day.

The following information is from a comment below by Jim, who also email the photo above, to me.  Thanks Jim!  ~P.

I believe it was a 1956 Chevy but I could be wrong on that. I had to buy parts for it back in the sixties and that year sticks in my mind. Before it was RED, it was white and some referred to it as the “Ice Cream” truck. It responded to all major fires and served hot coffee, soup and donuts to the FFs and those displaced from their houses. It was a “haven of heat” for those that fought fires that occurred in the winter. These were the days when ambulances did not respond routinely to calls and it also served as a medical/first aid/rehab unit.

Its responses were not limited to York City, it also was requested by many county FDs for major fires. It was one of the few (if not the only) city apparatus to have a “County” low band VHF radio installed. As stated before, It was owned and operated by the Lincoln Fire Company.

Two of its busiest years were 1968 and 1969 and anyone older than 10 at that time should remember what was happening in York.

It also stood by at the Kiwanis Lake Labor day celebration each year and provided first aid services to the crowds. These were the days before “EMTs” and a certified Red Cross person with Standard and Advanced first aid was the highest level of training available. Mouth to Mouth resuscitation was becoming popular as well as that ” new thing” called CPR.

Its death was due to several issues: Lack of Volunteers (the volunteers that joined the station wanted to fight fires, not serve coffee), county FDs establishing their own Canteen trucks with a much faster response time, expense of operation, the age of the vehicle, and IMHO-better fire suppression, better trained personnel, and better fire prevention in York City led to a reduction in the number of major fires, in which its services were needed. It took a while to make coffee, buy donuts and respond. Towards the end, it would be responding and the event would be over.

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