A dream began back in the Fall of 1974, when the Upper Saucon Volunteer Fire Company began to investigate the need for an ambulance service in the rapidly growing township. These enterprising individuals, President of the fire company Elmer Wagner, and Chairman of the investigation committee Gerard Cozzolino, sought the advice of neighboring corps at Coopersburg, SeWyCo and Lower Milford as well as that of the Upper Saucon Police Department, thus beginning the labor of love that was to become known as the Upper Saucon Township Volunteer Fire Company Ambulance Corps (USTVFCAC).
The first training school was started in September 1975 and was taught be American Red Cross instructor Allen Brandis, a resident of the township. As the classes progressed, so did negotiations for the purchase of the first vehicle. This ambulance was a 1972 Cadillac and cost $7,500. The needed equipment was purchased at an additional cost of $7,500. This equipment was needed to provide emergency care, extrication and transport of the injured.
At that time, training for the original forty volunteers consisted of ARC Advanced First Aid and Emergency Care, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, and ambulance use courses. These members also served internships with the corps of Whitehall, Coopersburg, Dewey (Hellertown), and Northwestern. In January 1976, the first officers were elected. Allen Brandis became Captain; Francis "Nunnie" Munjone, First Lieutenant; Larry Bleam, Treasurer; Karen Brandis, Secretary; and Gerard "Cozz" Cozzolino, Historian. Cozz also served as chairman of the first subscription drive which began in January of 1976 at a fee of two dollars per family to offset the cost of purchasing the ambulance and equipment.
A graduation ceremony and dinner were held on March 27, 1976, for the newly formed ambulance corps. Dedication and vehicle housing took place on March 18 at the Fire Company building on Lanark Road. This was the official home of the ambulance corps until July 7, 1990. Carol LaHurd, chairperson of the Ambulance Dedication Committee, described this event as a 'dedication program to solemnize the event and to emphasize the community orientation to the corps and its activities. Seven hundred people attended this ceremony. The ambulance was housed by senior members of visiting sister corps, and on March 29, 1976, USTVFCAC was officially in service.
Members of the corps did not have to wait long for their first call. That call came through at 08:20 on March 29. Nunnie Munjone, Jack Moyer, Doug Guignet and Archie DiGiacinto Jr were on board as the capable crew.
The corps continued to grow, and by 1978 was able to say that they had 13 EMTs as well as certified instructors in advanced first aid, CPR and vital signs. In October of that year an order was placed for a second vehicle, one of the newer modular-type units. This vehicle was received in July 1979. Totally equipped, this vehicle was valued at $42,000. The success of the corps at that time was attributed to the number of volunteer, fund raising activities, and the individual and service organization donations from the community.
In August 1979, USTVFCAC was awarded the Pennsylvania Department of Health Certificate of Excellence for meeting or exceeding the State standards.
During 1979, arrangements were made for Cetronia Ambulance Corps to provide us with Advanced Life Support, when necessary. Training sessions were held with members of both corps to prepare us to function successfully together during life threatening calls. Service began in 1980.
In 1983, we became incorporated as Upper Saucon Ambulance Corps (USAC).
USAC, as well as Coopersburg, Lower Milford, Salisbury and SeWyCo, and the Emergency Medical Services Council, began investigation into the need of establishing a locally based paramedic unit. These corps were pleased to see their efforts prove fruitful when Medic 5 (Station 76) was placed into service on August 1, 1984.
In 1985 an order was placed for a 1985 Ford F-350 Type III Modular unit to replace the original Cadillac. This unit was built by Sentinel.
1987 was to bring about the beginning of many changes for the ambulance corps. We saw the construction of Interstate 78 with its associated growth changes in the valley. New training programs were instituted to help the corps better serve the community.
As volunteer resources began to diminish in the mid 1990's, the corps adapted and began using career staff to fill the gaps.
On July 1, 2012 the Corps upgraded from a Basic Life Support service to an Advanced Life Support service. Upper Saucon is now equipped with three ambulances with equipment for two Advanced Life Support units. At least one ALS crew available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During special events, severe weather, and shift changes two or three crews are often available.
The Corps shall be a community based health and public safety service dedicated to providing high quality pre-hospital medical care, transport, education, and improvement of health in the community.
Our corps was established in 1976 and has been proudly serving the community since. Our ambulances are staffed with both paid and volunteer paramedics, pre-hospital nurses, emergency medical technicians, first responders, and observers. We also have associate members that organize fundraisers and community events.
We currently have three ambulances and staff at least one Advanced Life Support unit 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our station is located just off Route 309 on Camp Meeting Road (next to the Upper Saucon Township municipal building).