Prior to 1959 the Canton Police Department took care of all ambulance servie in the city of Canton. In 1959, the Canton Fire Department took over ambulance service using a 1942 Dodge panel truck that the police department was using. This truck was manned daily by two firefighters who had Red Cross Basic First Aid training. There was very little equipment on this first first aid truck including a first aid kit. two hare traction splints, an army cot, an oxygen unit, a mechanical resuscitation unit and some grappling hooks and rope. A 1959 International Travelall Ambulance was purchased the first year for $3,400.00. The majority of the emergency calls were responded to by the ambulance crew with a total of 553 runs just in the first year. In 1960 the ambulance responded to 1,003 emergency calls.
An International Travelall Ambulance was purchased in 19666 and 1967. This provided the department with a first line ambulance and a reserve ambulance. In 1967 the ambulance responded to 2,320 emergency calls. During this same year the mechanical resuscitation unit was used on 173 people.
In 1972 a second ambulance crew was established due to an increase in calls. During 1972 the ambulance crews responded to 4,303 emergency calls.
In October 1975, the Canton Fire Department and Aultman Hospital initiated the first Paramedic Program in Stark County. This required the department to purchase new specialized ambulances and equipment. The new paramedics were provided with 280 hours of advanced training. It was from this time on that all members joining the fire department had to become paramedics as well as firefighters. In 1975 the ambulance crew respnded to 4,531 emergency calls.
A third medic unit was established in 1988. Just like the establishment of the second medic unit, it was established due to a large increase of emergency calls. In 1988 there were 6,975 emergency calls.
In 1996, the medic units responded to 8,810 emergency calls. Today, the medic units are located at Station 2,4,7 and 8. Firefighter/Paramedics rotate on and off the ambulances and fire engines and trucks.
Throughout the years, the Canton Fire Department has had to change all of its focus for firefighting to include emergency medical services. It is very evident from the number of calls received and its increase each year that more focus will have to be placed in this area in the future.
Copied from the Canton Fire Department 175th Anniversary Book