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Ticonderoga Emergency Squad moves into new home

State-of-the-art building open

Rick Morse, left, president of the Ticonderoga Emergency Squad, and Mark Barber, captain, stand outside the unit’s new building at 118 Champlain Avenue.

Rick Morse, left, president of the Ticonderoga Emergency Squad, and Mark Barber, captain, stand outside the unit’s new building at 118 Champlain Avenue.

— Helping the squad financially is the sale of the former ambulance building to Lakeside Heating and Plumbing. That $68,000 will go toward the new mortgage payment, Morse said.

Don Paige was the general contractor for the project.

Morse noted the contributions of many people in the community. Dave Woods donated all the excavating work. Ticonderoga Central School donated tables and a projector screen for use in the training room. Members Sue and Dennis Johnson donated kitchen appliances. The Carillon Garden Club will complete landscaping at the facility this spring.

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 sis required to work one shift a week as well as participate in training and fund raising efforts.

“We have a great group,” Morse said. “They’re very dedicated. We’re one of the few (ambulance) organizations in the North Country that doesn’t have paid staff.”

The new building has also sparked a renewed interest in the Ticonderoga Emergency Squad. Barber pointed out the group has gotten several new members in the past month and expects more people to join.

“We have applications for membership here or people can talk to any member,” Barber said. “We welcome new members.”

Morse credited Dennis and Sue Johnson for helping make the new emergency services building a reality. Dennis Johnson was squad president in 2009 when the project started. Both remain members.

‘Dennis and Sue Johnson really made this happen,” Morse said. “Without them we wouldn’t be here.”

The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad has a long history. The unit formed following World War II when patients were picked up in an old hearse donated by a local funeral home.

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