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Ticonderoga Emergency Squad to formally open facility

Chamber plans day-long activities May 12

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open the new Ticonderoga Emergency Squad Building Saturday, May 12. The 1 p.m. ribbon cutting will be part of a day-long celebration planned by the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open the new Ticonderoga Emergency Squad Building Saturday, May 12. The 1 p.m. ribbon cutting will be part of a day-long celebration planned by the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Nancy Frasier.

— “We think we have a great location here,” Rick Morse, squad president, said. “We’re very pleased with the way things have turned out.”

The new building is on the site of the old Ticonderoga Civic Center and was sold to the ambulance squad in 2009 by the town of Ticonderoga.

The building includes two drive through bays, a meeting room, offices, kitchen, lounge and storage areas, Morse said. It also has a state-of-the-art propane heating system that automatically adjusts to weather conditions. It also has a generator so it can remain operational during power outages. The architect was Steve Jung of Schroon Lake.

The building project had a budget of $860,000 — $280,000 raised by the squad and a $600,000 loan.

The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad receives no taxpayer funding from Ticonderoga and operates strictly on donations, insurance billing and donations. Helping the squad financially was the sale of the former ambulance building to Lakeside Heating and Plumbing. That $68,000 will go toward the new mortgage payment, Morse said.

The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad has 30 members, including 12 basic emergency medical technicians, three critical care emergency medical technicians and one paramedic. It has three ambulances. The Ti squad is the only North Country unit with a “thumper,” an auto-pulse cardiopulmonary resuscitation device.

In 2011 the squad responded to 526 calls. That was a slow year, according to Captain Mark Barber. In 2010 the squad answered 620 calls. Only the Lake Placid Ambulance Squad, which has paid staff, answered more calls in Essex County last year, Barber said.

The ambulance crew also stands by at local events, like Ticonderoga High School football games, activities at Fort Ticonderoga, road races and community events.

The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Barber explained members work four-hour shifts. Each member is required to work one shift a week as well as participate in training and fund raising efforts.

The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad was chartered in 1947. The original ambulance was a funeral home hearse that was garaged at the north end of Champlain Avenue in the back of a bank.

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