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Sometime in the spring of 1955 a local tragedy occurred, possibly a drowning in Lake Lookover that created a need for a community service.  That community service was to become the Upper Greenwood Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps. 

With the assistance of a weekend resident named Walter LaFrance, a member of the Dumont First Aid Squad, lawyers were hired and a charter and by-laws modeled after the Dumont squad were filed.  On June 2, 1955 the Upper Greenwood Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps began its life. By the 9th of June 1955, thanks to a loan by Peter Fries, who at that time was the owner of the Lakeside Markets the Corps was to have registered its first ambulances It was a 1947 Cadillac.

 The first ambulance, nostalgically nicknamed by its Police Call Letter '139" had many a home or a prospective home in its early years.  "Ole 39" saw tenancy in our firehouses and in Joe Senftís garages which was under the Appalachian.  When these locations started to inconvenience the owners a woman named Rita Dauchman allowed the Corps to park its ambulances in her fathers garage on the corner of Banker and Barnegat Roads.

 Many winter evening's were spent in Mr. Fellner's kerosene heated garage maintaining equipment.  If Bill Kimbles from Bill's Market, now the Schoolhouse Deli, wasn't around to plow, time was spent hand shoveling the long circular driveway.

 The search for a permanent home was perpetually on the Corps agenda.  Thoughts of renovating the Upper Greenwood Lake Clubhouse were considered.  Property on the Clinton Road triangle was offered by Joe Deaver,  Mount Laurel offered property next to Murphy's on Warwick Turnpike and property on Hanover Road was donated.  None were suitable or feasible.  Then on November 299 1958 the Corps purchased its present site from the Piasiols.

 A Sunday morning brush cutting party was held to clear the land but the problem of a multitude of rocks and boulders ensued.  Somehow Braen Industries appeared on the scene and those boulders are now buried on the site.  The permanent headquarters building was officially dedicated in September of 1959.

 It was the age of liberation and as of January 1972 the by-laws were changed to admit women members.  Beverly Ollearo became the Corps first Corps Person. Without the women, 24 hours a day 7 days a week service would have been impossible. In January 1980, the Corps would seat its first woman President, Mary Ann Dougherty. Since then women figured prominently in the leadership of the Corps as well as constituting its membership. 

Up until a few years ago a phone chain performed the chore of turning out an ambulance crew. That voice in the middle of the night could have been any member of the Hajek, Andersons, Shannong, Remia, Schmidt or Browne family.  Many a time the customers had to wait at Joe's Tavern or the Appalachian until an ambulance was dispatched. Presently the Corps is dispatched through the radio system of the West Milford Police Department.

 Since the Corps' inception on June 20 1955 there have been many changes, all of which were for the betterment of the service rendered to the Upper Greenwood Lake community. Technology has advanced and our EMTís now have access to advanced life saving equipment such as defiblirators. We now have newer and better-equipped ambulances.  But the mission remains unchanged of stabilizing and getting our patients to a hospital in safety.

 The Corps is in constant training.  The C P R  certification must be renewed every two years and the EMT certification must be renewed every three years.  This entails continuing education for all members as well as practical hands on drills to hone our skills. All this is done to insure that we give our community the best possible service. 

 Just as twenty-five years ago it took dedication and love for one's community to join the Corps, the same holds true to this day.  The Corps is constantly looking for dedicated men and women to help provide the Upper Greenwood Lake community with the best possible prehospital care available.  Your reward for service, as it was twenty-five years ago, is the satisfaction in knowing that you have helped to make our community a better place in which to live.

 Society has changed greatly in the ensuing twenty-five years and time has become an even more precious commodity. Its commonplace for both partners to work and the time to volunteer is a luxury that many donít have. The Corps too has had to adapt in order to retain its membership and recruitment remains a challenge.

 Also as true as it was twenty-five years ago it still takes money to keep the organization healthy. Fund raising is still as necessary as ever. We are fortunate that our community has always been there for us. We thank all those that supported us both financial and spiritually. Specially thanks to our spouses and partners for putting up with our pagers, getting up at all hours of the night, and leaving in the middle of meals. 





























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