The following information has been gathered by going through papers that had survived the fire of 1994 and also by speaking with past members.
We would like to thank everyone who assisted us in gathering the information. Without you, we would never have been able to do this.
- We were stationed in the “chicken coops” that were on the Silver Spring Speedway property along with the Silver Spring Fire Company.
- We covered the races at the Silver Spring Speedway.
- We moved into the building beside Super Shoes and were known as Ambulance 31.
- We drove a Cadillac Ambulance.
- We drove an International that was a stick shift on the column.
- We separated from the Fire Company, but still resided in their building.
- We were the first ambulance in Cumberland County to become a separate entity.
On November 27, 1972, we became incorporated.
- We bought a Dodge van ambulance at a cost of $17,000, and was purchased on a 5-year loan from 1st Bank & Trust of Mechanicsburg. This loan was paid off within one year by doing door-to-door donations and other fundraising.
- The majority of the company consisted of members of the ages 19-25.
- Mike Hurley, Dick Sebring, Ed Belden, Chuck Wenger, & George Broaddus went to township supervisors and explained the need for our own building. That was a difficult task.
- This same committee then went to Max Hempt to ask for a small piece of land to build on. On May 8, Max Hempt donated the land on Eleanor Drive.
- The hard work was not over! A battle ensued to have the land re-zoned. Joe Ceckovich (a township supervisor) donated his time & equipment to dig our well.
- Once the land was obtained, the next obstacle was paying for the building. Again, the determined group of volunteers went to the 1st Bank & Trust of Mechanicsburg and asked for a loan. We received a $50,000 loan with no collateral.
- A new act was created to include ambulance companies to the tax-exempt law. We were the first company to become tax exempt.
- The building: Our volunteers built the cabinets & counters in the kitchen. They also painted the outside of the building themselves. The furniture in the lounge was donated by N.B. Liebman Furniture.
- Officers: President – Mike Hurley, Vice President – Elliot Detwiler, Chief – Mike Hurley. We were the 1st company to have an ambulance chief.
- The building is finished: we had approximately 25 members. Most of our members were still active with Silver Spring Fire Company. There were many times where our volunteers manned the ambulance & fire company at the same time.
- We had a Plectron installed in the station. Crews would call in and give name and where they were going. Crews talked to each other on CB radios. Ambulance went on air with County 911 and were advised of crew & incident location only.
- Transport of Patients: Police would sit at intersections to clear our way through to the hospital. We would transport the patient to Carlisle Hospital. We used to sign-in at the hospitals and also wait on our equipment before we returned to the station and completing a handwritten tripsheets.
- We received support from many people such as doctors, the coroner, area businesses, and some county officials.
- To help raise funds, we charged $75 for a football stand-by.
- We purchased our 1st Miniter pager for approximately $300 each. If you lived within a 5-mile radius of the company, you received one.
- Fundraisers such as bake sales, Tupperware parties, & a stand at the flea market were held every month just to pay the electric bill.
- Members went door-to-door for the subscription drive.
- Sold raffle tickets for the Lady Keystone Open. We received $1.00 for every ticket sold.
- We received the first grant from the Dept. of Health. This was used to purchase rescue equipment & the Amkus tool.
- March 27: We received our certificate from the Dept of Health.
- Officers: Mike Hurley was President & Chief
- TMI Incident: We were the only ambulance company chosen to remain within the evacuation area and one of the last ones to leave if there was a meltdown.
- September 10: Ambulance crew was doing a transport from Delmar, MD, When they were mistaken for Silver Springs, MD, ambulance and flagged down. Crew consisted of Elsie Bordner, Bob Clymans, Larue Armstrong, & Grace Fenicle. Elsie, Bob, & Larue went into Delmar Convention Center to find a man in cardiac arrest and immediately started CPR while Grace remained in the ambulance with their patient. Elsie, Bob, & Larue received a Certificate of Merit from The American Red Cross and also a letter of recognition from Congressman Bill Goodling.
- We held Monte Carlo nights as a fundraiser. Friday, Feb. 12, 1982 we held our 1st Annual Awards Banquet at the Bellaire House in Carlisle.
- We had a total of 569 calls in 1982.
- MVA at the intersection of Routes 11 & 114 when a car drove under a fuel tanker carrying 8500 gallons of fuel which resulted in an explosion.
- We became members of the Cumberland County EMS Council.
- January: Penn Twp., York County, created the fist Search & Rescue Scuba Team.
- March: We purchased a Ford Yankee Coach for $55,265.
- By now, our members are becoming EMTs. Mike Hurley is the 1st in the company to become an EMT. Training was about 160 hours & paid for by the members.
- We were covering Silver Spring Twp. and the surrounding areas.
- People outside the coverage area could request our services if they wanted to.
- Subscription fees were $10 per year per family. This fee included unlimited emergencies and two routine transports.
- September: The turnpike purchased the turnpike radios for our ambulances and paid to have them installed.
- We had made 950 calls, missed 8, & traveled 16,520 miles.
We began recognizing “Lifetime Memberships,” which were given to members for 10 years of service.
- June: First contract with West Shore ALS. First talks about need for low-band radios.
- Life Lion established pre-designated landing zones.
- February: purchase of first low-band radio with fire channels 1, 2, 3, and med channel 4
- March: Medic 2-81 is put into service.
- April: building is paid off in full.
- May: We purchased our first computer for $3,175.
- July: We purchased our first copier.
- Rubber gloves are “recommended” for calls with bleeding & masks for traumas.
- September: “Mortgage Burning” Open House
- Solicited subscriptions door-to-door.
- We responded on 952 calls and missed eight.
- January: Third party billing was started.
- February: First started carrying complete bunker gear on rigs.
- March: First needle boxes installed in rigs.
- Medic 81 put a third unit in service, Medic 83 put 2nd unit in service.
- Ambulance companies 19 & 20 combined to become Co. 5, which would be a paid service.
- Medic 2-81 first stationed at Upper Allen’s station.
- Man electrocuted with 69,000 volts on State Rd and survives.
- Purchase first cellular phone for $799.
- November: Act 45 is signed. As of 1/89, Med 10 will be for communications only.
- $10 fee will be added to all driving fines except parking tickets and given to EMS. (EMSOF Fund)
- Company 300 is first introduced.
Cost of transports in ambulance $85.
Subscription fee was $25.
- Cumberland County Prison Riots. We were paid $2.10/hour.
December: Bill passed for Fireman’s Relief Fund.
- Joined PA Ambulance Association.
- We had 868 calls and covered 19,111 miles.
- April: Co. 33 began carrying back-boards and prepared to assist us on calls.
- June: first Silver Spring Twp Newsletter sent out.
- August: Med 10 put in service. Holy Spirit considering purchasing West Shore ALS.
- September: Subscription fee $30, Ambulance Fees $100 for emergencies and $85 for routines.
- Started the Blood Bank with NKFC.
- Cost of football game stand-bys $25/hour with a $50 minimum.
- Joint billing to begin with ALS for Medicare patients.
- First started using collection service.
- US Rep. Bill Goodling to include EMS in compensation from the state far death on the job.
- May: Tornado touched down in Country Manor.
- June: We purchased our first Life Pak 300, which was made possible by the donations of area businesses.
- Holy Spirit Hospital purchased Medic 81.
- We had the first AED save in the county. Members that were on crew that night were EMTs Tom Whitfield (still active) and Suzanne Yeingst and EMR Robert Horning Sr. The patient went on to live a normal life.
- November: Wal-Mart and Giant are the first to open up in the Silver Spring Commons.
- January: Clothing allotment is set up for active members.
- February: Wormleysburg, Upper Allen, and Mechanicsburg Ambulance Services merged to become West Shore EMS.
- U.S. Flag is flown at the White House in honor of our Association and then donated to the company.
- September: Cumberland County Fireman’s Convention is hosted by New Kingstown Fire Co. and Silver Spring Ambulance.
- November: Plans to add on to the building are sent to the engineers.
- December 1, 1994: Silver Spring Ambulance station is totally destroyed by fire. West Shore EMS donated an ambulance for use. NKFS allowed us to stay at their station. Roadway donated the use of a trailer for storage.
- January: Act 82 is passed, which supplemented the Emergency Medical Services act of 1985. This act granted new definitions for EMTs and added additional levels of responders.
- February: Transports $175 + $5/loaded mile.
- April: We moved back into building after it was refinished due to the fire. Companies 35 and 36 merged and became 91 and 92, and they are now known as Yellow Breeches EMS.
- June: Donations from township residents to recover from the fire are $25,073.80.
- November: Began addition to the building.
- September: Held an Open House after the addition to the building was finished.
- October: We were the only ambulance association in the area to become a continuing education site.
- February: Transports $200 + $5/loaded mile.
- March: Medic 81 and 83 merged to become West Shore ALS
- September: Begin preparing to do trip sheets electronically.
- November: Police departments began carrying AEDs in their cars.
- January: We became members of the Cumberland County Volunteer Fireman’s Association.
- April: We started our own website, www.silverspringambulance.org
- May: We began contract with Metropolitan Medical to handle all routine transports.
- June: 12 area BLS units form Cumberland County EMS Alliance.
- July: Trip sheets were now done electronically.
- December: We became a member of the Cumberland County Alliance.
- April: We began leasing an EMT from Metropolitan Medical to cover daytime shift of Mon-Fri 7 am-5 pm and Saturdays 6 am-6 pm
- May: Holy Spirit Hospital opens their new ER
- October: We took first place in the Fire/EMS Parade in Baltimore, MD.
- In the 2000s, call volumes increased which required more shifts to be covered by paid personnel. Additional equipment upgrades were made, and patient treatment protocols were revised and improved. Several babies were born in the backs of the ambulances too!
- February: We began using Page, Wolfberg & Wirth as our legal advisors.
- April: We become members of the American Trauma Society.
- June: We put our first safety awareness insert in the Silver Spring Twp. Newsletter. We received a grant from the American Trauma Society. We held our first Silver Spring Twp. Emergency Services picnic at Pleasant View Park.
- September: We purchased our third ambulance, which would be delivered in April 2001. We took first place at the Cumberland County Convention. The 800 MHz radio system is in the works.
- November: We became members of the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania.
- We added a third ambulance to the fleet.
- On February 4, 2009, Silver Spring Ambulance suffered a line-of-duty death. Barry J. Nagle, EMR, and husband of member Jan Nagle, EMT, lost his life while transporting a patient to the hospital. His partner, George C. Weimer, Jr., EMT, suffered injuries in the incident. The uninjured patient was transported to the hospital by a partner ambulance company without further incident. Barry’s portrait hangs on our Memorial Wall along with other members of Silver Spring Ambulance who are no longer with us. We miss each and every one greatly. Their unselfish service to Silver Spring Ambulance and the community cannot be duplicated.
- In the 2010s, more improvements were made. Power lift stretchers and power load devices were added to all three ambulances.
- One of the most defining events in EMS was the COVID19 global pandemic, that upended how SSARA providers and staff delivered care and interacted with patients, the hospitals, the communities, and with each other. The pandemic eventually caused an upsurge in our call volume, requiring an organizational restructuring of operations, as well as the formal addition of a second staffed ambulance during anticipated peak call volumes. While many agencies continue to experience struggles with staffing, we are able to consistently maintain an additional staffed ambulance.
- In the 2020s, Silver Spring Ambulance had an administrative reorganization to better define and streamline administrative duties and responsibilities.
- September: We established a state-approved education center in order to train new providers and provide educational opportunities for our existing providers.
- September: We purchased a fourth ambulance in anticipation of increased call volume and community needs.
- Launched new website!
- Our in-house education center was appropriately named the George C. Weimer, Jr. Institute for Training and Development.
- August 26, 2023: The official dedication for The George C. Weimer, Jr. Institute for Training and Development was held, opening new opportunities for education, for both our providers and the public.