Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey 07030
History of the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
In the late 1970's two men, Edward F. McIntyre and Mr. William Matthews perceived the need for a more organized Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in the city of Hoboken. Prior to the establishment of the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps (HVAC) the Hoboken Police Department (HPD) provided ambulatory services in Hoboken. The HPD protocol for responding to calls consisted of picking up a doctor at Saint Mary's Hospital, in a black hearse, and then attending to the request for help.
This mode of response was soon to change however, because by February of 1971, the required equipment to create an ambulance service was acquired. HVAC was incorporated on February 26th, 1971 and training of the original fourteen members began. Initially, training took place in the backroom of the central municipal garage of Hoboken. The Corps first ambulance was purchased for $3,000, which was loaned to the corps by Mr. William Deitrich (deceased), who was the first Captain, interest free. The vehicle was a Cadillac Ambulance from Avenel, NJ VFAS and was numbered E-52. On May 28th, 1971 we responded to our first call- The Pier 5 fire.
In the first year the Corps responded to a total of 648 calls. Soon after the Corps went into service the Maxwell Coffee Company donated our second ambulance. We then moved to a new headquarters, which was leased to us by Stevens Institute of Technology located at 5th & River Street.
In early 1973 we again moved, this time to our present headquarters located at 707 Clinton Street. The purchase of this building was made possible by the "Buy A Brick" program, and the building was renovated from a horse stable to a living facility for our members, as well as a place to put our three new ambulances.
In the years that followed, the Corps responded to an increasing number of calls. Last year the Corps responded to over 5,000 ambulance needs. No one has ever received a bill for our services. Currently we are the last all volunteer ambulance service in Hudson County NJ.
As times change so has the Corps. Currently we have 7 EMS vehicles and 6 bicycles capable of breaking up into 3 teams used in the summer at special events. The Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps has grown and changed over the years, however our motto has remained the same.