Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 30, 1955
The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Squad started as an ambulance service.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 29, 1952

Tuberculosis Society Sells Its Ambulance

The Saranac Lake Tuberculosis Society's ambulance took its last ride in this village today as it started off to the county seat in Malone under the ownership of Francis St. Mary of that village.

The vehicle was the last of three ambulances which had operated in Saranac Lake for the last 40 years with a general non-profit service.

The ambulance had not been in use since last May, when a contract with William Riordan expired. Mr. Riordan was unable to secure experienced help to continue its operation.

Mr. St. Mary, who operates an ambulance service in Malone, will use the newly purchased car for a spare. The vehicle was given to the Society in 1940 by the local Post of the American Legion.

The first ambulance serving Saranac Lake was horse drawn. It had been discarded by Roosevelt Hospital, New York City, and was obtained for this village by Edwin Gould.

The second was the first motor ambulance, a Cunningham. It was given to the society by the Saranac Lake Graduate Nurses Association. After 18 years of operation, it was replaced by the gift from the Legion Post.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 29, 1955


Discontinuance of  the regular ambulance service in Saranac Lake as of January 1, 1956 was announced today by Eugene Keough, manager of the Keough Ambulance Service and of Keough Memorial Chapel, Inc.

Keough told The Enterprise that the decision had been reached “after careful consideration, and many months of deliberation.”

Citing figures showing a net yearly loss of $5,083.83 on the ambulance service, Mr. Keough said that “we can no longer carry a sustained and continued financial loss which maintenance of this community service incurs.”

Keough also announced that he was appealing to the Village Board, the Chamber of Commerce, the Saranac Lake General Hospital, “or some other interested group” to take over the service and “act as a good Samaritan.”

The: ambulance, originally purchased for $10,530 by Keough, is now for sale. “If something is not done before January 1,” Keough said, “then we will be forced to accept an offer from out of town.”

Keough said the move for ambulance service in Saranac Lake had been started in the latter part of June 1948 by William Chapman “Bill” White who died suddenly early yesterday morning.

Bill White, according to Keough, wanted 24-hour ambulance service seven days a week as a service to the community. Accompanied by James Smith, member of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and now in charge of the State Troopers in Binghamton, and Mitchell LaFave, now retired from the BCI, White came to see Keough.

The visit had been prompted by an accident at Lake Clear when a seriously injured person had to wait almost an hour to be taken to the hospital. At that time also, Keough said, there were a considerable number of DOA cases, “dead on arrival” at the hospital.

Previous to the establishment of the regular ambulance service, there had been an old Dodge ambulance which, Keough said; belonged to the American Legion. The Saranac Lake Society for the Control of Tuberculosis operated this ambulance by contracting with one or more of the taxi services. But there had been no round-the-clock service.

Keough also said that the closing of the Trudeau and Stony Wold sanitaria had reduced the income from the ambulance service.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 23, 1957

SL Ambulance Service May Be Discontinued

Furlong Cannot Offer 24-Hour Service, But Tells Board Will Go On To Feb. 1

Saranac Lake is faced once again with the possibility of no ambulance service.

Officials of the Saranac Lake Society for the Control of Tuberculosis, which owns and operates the Harriet Stanley Ambulance, last night appealed to the Saranac Lake Village Board for help in solving the problem of manning the ambulance.

William Furlong has operated the ambulance under a year’s contract with the society which expires today. Six weeks ago, Mr. Furlong informed the Society that he would not renew his contract  because he finds it impassible to mountain 24-hour service himself. He has offered to continue his services until the end of the month.

Dr. Edward Packard, President of the Society, informed the Board, meeting in regular session at the Village offices, that the Society has not been able to find a new operator. Dr. Packard was accompanied by Dr. Hugh Kinghorn and William Scopes, members of the Board, and Mrs. Frederick Cord, secretary of the Society.

Dr. Packard suggested that the Village operate the ambulance under the police, fire, or general service departments. After discussion, the Board agreed that this operation could not be placed under the police or general service departments. They also informed the Society officials that if the Village operated the ambulance it would not be able to make calls beyond the village limits.

Mayor Alton B. Anderson stated that the Board was deeply concerned about the possible loss of ambulance service for the community, but advised the Society also to approach the Town of Harrietstown Town Board, so that every possible avenue of help could be explored.

To Ask Firemen

Trustee Vernon Wamsganz was asked to approach the Volunteer Fire Department to work out a possible solution, since the department had discussed organizing an ambulance service when the problem first arose in December, 1955. Trustee Joseph Drutz will consult with Saranac Lake General Hospital officials on the problem, and Trustee William A. J. Sheehan will discuss the matter with funeral directors Eugene Keough and Andrew Fortune.

The TB Society has maintained the ambulance service with funds from the Stanley-Brown fund since shortly after Mr. Keough ended his private ambulance service in December, 1955. The society pays all the running expenses of the ambulance including service and insurance. The operator retains a straight fee for each call. During twelve months operation last year, the ambulance made 188 calls, with service fees totaling about $1,100...

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 23, 1963

Rescue Services in S.L. Bring Debate by Board

The fire department's $11,000 emergency rescue truck and planning for the proposed state highway across Lake Flower were discussed by the Saranac Lake Village Board last night.

Fire Chief Richard Yorkey and Captain William Davis of the rescue squad asked the Board to verify their duties as an emergency unit as a standard to follow when unavoidable friction is caused with the private ambulance service operating in the Village.

The Board ruled that it is not the intent of the Village to provide a free ride into town when someone has slid into the ditch or for any case that is not an emergency.

Mayor Alton B. Anderson said “there is room for both services in the village. We (Mayor Anderson operates the ambulance own- by the Saranac Lake tuberculosis Society) have worked well together at accidents; the emergency squad gives good and prompt service.”

Captain Davis told the Board that his squad had no intent to infringe on the ambulance service. At one time, Mr. Davis continued, the State Police hesitated to call any rescue squad since so many volunteers arrived in private cars it added to the traffic congestion.

Now the fire horn is not sounded at night for rescue calls but the radio is used to alert the members so only those men with the truck and perhaps one car go on the call.

The truck is completely equipped for rescue work at bad automobile accidents with hydraulic jacks, power hack saw, chain saw and wrecking bars, Mr. Davis concluded…


Adirondack Daily Enterprise,

March 15, 1963


Robert Hugg of 11 Prospect Ave. was taken by Saranac Lake rescue truck to the General Hospital yeserday afternoon at 3:44. Mr. Hugg registered a high temperature and was believed to be suffering from pneumonia. Nine men were attached to the squad which answered the summons.