The first organized rescue squad of the Town of Bolton was founded in the summer of 1934. The group made up of high school boys was trained by Fire Chief Kenneth Palmer and under the leadership of James Baird Maranville. The squad served the town until 1938 when most of the boys left town to further their education or for other reasons. There were too few to continue and the squad was disbanded. The Bolton Fire Department took over the duties of the squad under the direction of Marcus Merrill who was appointed captain annually by the fire chief.
In November of 1946 an ambulance purchased in partnership between the Diamond Point and Bolton Landing Emergency Medical Services was turned over to the Town of Bolton with the understanding that it be operated by the Bolton Rescue Squad. It was decided that the ambulance be kept at the firehouse in Bolton Landing because emergency phone calls could be received there day and night and it was centrally located between Lake George and Ticonderoga where the services of physicians were available. A unit of trained men achieved the certification of American Red Cross Advanced First Aid and new certification and refresher classes were held periodically by a physician. This first ambulance was a blue Chevrolet panel truck equipped with first aid supplies and had a chrome plate on the side that bore the inscription “Dr. Edwin Brown Jenks’ Memorial Ambulance, Diamond Point, NY, Bolton Landing NY.
In October of 1947 Mrs. D.L. Rogers of Bolton financed $750.00 for the purchase of an “E. & J. Resuscitator” Her husband the late Dr. Daniel L. Rogers was a member of the Fire Department and interested in work of the rescue squad. At the time this piece of equipment was considered one of the greatest inventions for saving lives.
In the summer of 1950 the department voted to install an oxygen unit in the ambulance, and thus one more step forward was taken to provide greater service to the residents of Bolton and Diamond Point. In May of 1951 a 1936 Buick ambulance was donated by Regan and Denny of Glens Falls. For a brief period of time this was used as a second ambulance. Because of its age the ambulance was given away a few years later due to the high cost of repairs and upkeep.
The need for continuing ambulance service was recognized when records for a five year period indicate that the ambulance took a total of 453 calls with a total of 17,831 miles. This averages to 91 trips a year and 3,566 miles. The records are for actual ambulance trips only. No records were kept for the many more trips taken by private vehicles supplying oxygen and other needed equipment.
A new 1954 Pontiac ambulance with a Superior body was purchased with money raised from a fund drive that was chaired by the Rev. Arthur Curran who was the Chaplin and Secretary of the Fire Department at the time. The old ambulance and $5,082 was given for the new ambulance and a small amount extra was given to equip the new ambulance with oxygen and other essential equipment. A special dedication ceremony was held in the school gym on May 12, 1954. Soon after, for the price of $400 a two way radio was installed. This gave the ambulance the ability to communicate with fire trucks and “Central Headquarters” in Lake George.
During the next few years several pieces of new equipment were acquired. A flexible canvas stretcher was donated by Dr. C. Gilbert Adolphson. This valuable piece of equipment eliminated the need for the members to carry the patients in their arms. In 1959 the wife of the late Fire Commissioner Col. John McElroy donated $500 for the purchase of the areas first electric resuscitators. Also purchased in 1959 were an adjustable level stretcher and a “Porta Power” hydraulic tool.
In 1959 several administrative changes took place. The Fire Department changed its by-laws to allow the Rescue Squad to elect its own officers. John F. Urtz became the first elected captain of the Bolton Rescue Squad while Donald Snyder became the first elected Lieutenant. A budget was also adopted for the purpose of purchasing equipment and a replacement ambulance.
In 1960 a fund drive was started to replace the Pontiac ambulance. A goal of $8,000 was set for a vehicle and replacement equipment.
Through out the years the names of the officers and members have changed but not the need for new and better equipment, along with the need for manpower. Calls for service have topped over 300 in 2006. The cost of a new ambulance is $150,000 or more.
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