Cumberland Times-News

Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum

June 19, 2008

Ambulance service has key community role

The Frostburg Area Ambulance Service is currently asking for our help in raising money for the protective clothing that new government regulations require.

From disposable plastic gloves to sturdy boots, from padded jackets to fire-resistant headgear, the equipment will give added protection to the ambulance corps and to the citizens they serve.

The ambulance is a modern development. The word did not exist until the middle of the 19th century, and it was coined to identify a semi-mobile hospital unit set up among the baggage at the edge of a battlefield. By the time of the Civil War it was also applied to the carts on which wounded men were taken off the field.

The first civilian ambulances were hearses borrowed from undertakers, since they could accommodate a bed as ordinary horse-drawn vehicles could not.

Here in Frostburg, Conrad Nickel, the first of our furniture-maker-morticians, provided ambulance service, to be followed by his successors, Hafer and Durst.

In due time, the horses were retired and the vehicles were motorized, but the ambulance was only a specialized kind of taxi service. Treatment in transit came much later.

In 1975 a group of local people, all volunteers, got together to form our Frostburg Ambulance Service. They took over some space next to the fire department on Water Street, they gathered up donated equipment and they signed up for courses in first aid and emergency medical technology. Some of the original 27 are still active members of the organization.

A few years ago they moved to more appropriate quarters on West Main Street, where, with the help of a small staff of part-time paid individuals, their 911 phone is manned around the clock.

The corps itself, however, is still all volunteer. Many of them - including a number of much-appreciated students from FSU - have qualified through government-sponsored courses.

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Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum
  • Happy 200th to St. Paul's Lutheran congregation Today is the 200th birthday of the Lutheran congregation in Frostburg!

    On Aug. 14, 1808, 24 people joined in a communion service in the New Church, a log structure on the edge of what is now called the Prichard Farm.

    August 14, 2008

  • Quality, attitude of people make 'Burg special A note in the newspaper a week or so ago mentioned that Oprah Winfrey was looking for "the best small towns in America.'' Frostburg is the best one I know of - but unfortunately Oprah asked for photos or videos supporting the nomination.

    August 7, 2008

  • There's always something new under the sun! The popular press has been devoting a good bit of space in recent weeks to the new swimsuit, introduced by Speedo, which supposedly has contributed to the record-breaking times posted in the Olympic tryouts.

    July 24, 2008

  • Ward and his mansion stand proud in 'Burg I've had questions recently - not for the first time! - about William Ward and the house he built at 73 W. Main St. here in Frostburg.

    July 17, 2008

  • July 4th: Finding our beliefs Independence Day, like Christmas, is one of the few national holidays that has not been moved to Monday, to provide a four-day break for working people. It holds its own as the Fourth of July.

    July 3, 2008

  • Berry-picking brings back many memories Last week I went to Wiley Ford to pick strawberries. I came home with enough for several packets of frozen berries, for three jars of strawberry jam, generous spoonfuls of fruit on my breakfast cereal and shortcake with real whipped cream.

    June 26, 2008

  • Ambulance service has key community role The Frostburg Area Ambulance Service is currently asking for our help in raising money for the protective clothing that new government regulations require.

    June 19, 2008

  • Planet continues to change; Big One on horizon? In a year that is not yet half over, 2008 has already written itself into the record books for extremes of hot and cold, rain and drought, tornadoes and floods and earthquakes. Our planet Earth has been in a constant state of change.

    June 12, 2008

  • In tennis, individuals face each other as equals I'm not a sports person, but I like to watch tennis. During the three big summer tournaments - Paris, London and New York, played on three different surfaces - my TV is on, and I check the newspaper for details that I have missed.

    June 5, 2008

  • Arts are obviously alive in Allegany County Last week I had the pleasure of attending the spring concert of the Allegany Community Symphony Orchestra. The program was free, and nicely varied, and the instrumentalists were competent.

    May 29, 2008

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