In 1937, long before state regulations and licensing requirements, volunteer groups came together to form Ukiah Ambulance--an emergency medical response service the community desperately needed.
Ukiah Ambulance stands as the longest running ambulance service in Mendocino County. Though things have changed over the past 80-plus years, the objective has always remained the same: to provide exceptional emergency care to the community.
1937 - Ukiah Ambulance is established by volunteer groups, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, 20-30 Club and the Druids.
1956 - The volunteer groups begin to dwindle and can no longer sustain the ambulance service. Shortly thereafter, Len Winter and Rod Zimmerman take over operations.
1957 - A fund raising effort begins with the goal of purchasing a new custom-built ambulance. Through bake sales and generous donations, Ukiah Ambulance is able to buy a 1957 Pontiac ambulance. That same year, Ukiah Ambulance contracts with the County of Mendocino to provide emergency ambulance service to its residents. The base rate is $10.00 and $1.00 per mile. The county reimburses for non-payers at a $5.00 base rate and $.50 per mile.
1960 - Len Winter takes over ownership and operations of Ukiah Ambulance.
1964 - The President’s Commission on Highway Safety calls for Emergency Care and Transportation as one of its Community Action Programs.
1966 - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes the first guidelines for ambulances. These guidelines called for training emergency medical service personnel to the level of Advanced First Aid. Ukiah Ambulance complies with these guidelines.
1969 - Ukiah Ambulance expands, adding an additional ambulance after the Civil Defense donates a new E-Series Ford ambulance.
1970 - The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians is established to attempt to coordinate the exam and certification process on a national level.
1974 - All Ukiah Ambulance personnel become certified at the EMT-I level through the Regional Occupational Program (ROP).
1975 - EMT-II level begins Limited Advanced Life Support through government grants. These grants are used for training, and new radios to contact the hospital for direct communication with doctors.
1988 - Paramedics begin to operate and provide Advanced Life Support services in Mendocino County.
1994 - Ukiah Ambulance is sold to Robert H. McAdoo. Ukiah Ambulance is staffed with one Paramedic and one EMT-I per ambulance. This same year, Ukiah Ambulance and Winter Helicopters start the first Air Rescue Helicopter service in Mendocino County, called Flightcare, with the purchase of a Eurocopter AS350.
2011 - Research begins to form a not-for-profit ambulance service to purchase Ukiah Ambulance.
2013 - Ukiah Ambulance is purchased by Medstar Ambulance of Mendocino County Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity doing business as Medstar Ambulance and Ukiah Ambulance. Medstar offers membership and hardship programs that help patients reduce their out-of-pocket expenses for emergency medical care.