04/28/11 401 W, 3 I - + 13 - 3 Raleigh-Wake County Rescue Medic Proposal, 1976

Let's go back in time to the mid-Seventies, when city and county officials were working to provide a better level of emergency medical service to residents of Raleigh and portions of the surrounding county. The specific year is 1976. Funeral homes haven't been transporting patients for about a decade. Various private ambulance companies have come and gone. The current provider for Raleigh residents is Beacon Ambulance Service, operating since 1972 or 1973. They also answer calls in the county.

The Raleigh Fire Department's two rescue squads-- expanded in 1975 from their long-time lone unit-- can also provide patient transport in a pinch. Or maybe on a semi-regular basis. But neither fire nor ambulance personnel are providing much in the way of advanced first aid. The First Responder program is still a few years away in these parts.

Outside of the city, there are rescue squads operating in Apex, Cary, Wake Forest, Wendell, and Zebulon. Some of those have been around for over a decade; others are fairly new. Six Forks Rescue Squad starts that year, in 1976.

Beacon's been receiving a subsidy from the county, and they asked for an increase the prior year. This and other issues have both city and county officials considering their options for the best combination ambulance and medical service for Raleigh residents. Thus the proposed Rescue Medic program, a city-county initiative to add Emergency Medical Technician-staffed ambulances to the Raleigh Fire Department.

Four two-person medic units at Station 1, Station 10, Station 6/14, and Station 4/15. The department's two rescue squads would be located at Station 2 and Station 9. And their response areas would include some territory outside the city limits.

The proposal was created for the Wake County Office of Emergency Management, and a scan of a copy of that document is presented here. Staffing, equipment, response projections, alternate models, it's all here. The plan was not adopted, of course. The county instead created its own EMS agency that year, and a bit of that history was briefly recounted in this blog post.

We'll await reader comments on what's remembered from that period, and what happened before, during, and after. Thanks to Travis Loy and his dad, veteran Wake County EMS member Fred Loy, for providing this copy.

The PDF document is about 5.5 MB in size, so slower connections will take longer. Read this Raleigh-Wake County Rescue Medic proposal, or click the upper-right cover to view.


Wow, the $1,200 ea. cost of the Walkie Talkies in 1976 was a shocker….
Chris (Email) - 04/29/11 - 18:52

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