LOUDONVILLE -- The Loudonville Fire Department has a long and storied history, but it wasn't until the 1950s that the EMS branch was created.
In August of 1952, six members of the Fire Department were trained in the "art of saving lives." The idea originally came to Bus Schneider, Chuck Getz, and Burley Saunier while working the first aid booth at the street fair. They recruited three more members, Dick Paullin, Bill Myer, and Jim Strang to join them.
The group acquired and trained with a resuscitator, which could double as both an aspirator and an inhalator. As a result they became known as the "Inhalator Squad," which eventually shortened to just "squad" (this is believed to be the basis for the regional preference of squad in-lieu of ambulance). They also trained with and used rescue masks, oxygen tents and tanks, first aid kits, and stretchers.
At first there was no ambulance to carry the equipment, so when an emergency call came in Chief of Police Rhiney Schnittke would rush to the station and grab the equipment, and then meet the squad at the site of the emergency.
The Flxible Company saw the benefits of such a squad, and immediately installed a direct emergency line to the fire station -- two quick rings, seven times in succession, meant the squad was needed.
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