Original EMS Members


The 2007 Street Fair was dedicated to the original Emergency Medical Service volunteers who started the service in 1977.
Above are the attending original members and surviving family members. They are, left to right, Buzz Riopelle, Pete Berger, Sandy Berger, Bev Bastocky, Holly Pierce, Bobbi Lakatosh, Carol Riffe, Ted Banasik
, Judy Roach, Greg Smith, Denny Meyer, Fran Schumacher, Judy Adams.

Below, Dave Giovaninni holds an original decal from one of the old ambulances, which depicts the squad's dedication to the community since 1977.
The citation to these pioneers follows.


SALUTE TO 30 YEARS OF EMS
Written and Presented by Jack Petrone

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING OUR CELEBRATION.

THE YEAR WAS 1977. THE LIVERPOOL TWP. TRUSTEES, CY SCHAEFER, WALTER WOLFE AND BOB WEIGEL FOUND THEMSELVES IN AN UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATION.

THE TOWNSHIP HAD AN OUTSTANDING FIRE DEPARTMENT BUT LOST ITS CONTRACTED EMS PROTECTION.

IN THOSE DAYS, EMS COVERAGE WAS IN ITS INFANCY AND THERE WERE VERY FEW PROVIDERS TO CHOOSE FROM.

THE TRUSTEES DECIDED TO START THEIR OWN EMS ORGANIZATION AND PUT OUT A CALL FOR HELP FROM THE CITIZENS.

31 PEOPLE FROM THE COMMUNITY, SOME OF THEM ON THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ALREADY, SIGNED UP TO BECOME EMT's.

ONE OF THESE PEOPLE - RUSSELL " BUZZ "RIOPELLE WAS A FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDIC ON THE NORTH OLMSTED FIRE DEPARTMENT HE BECAME OUR FIRST ASSISTANT CHIEF OF RESCUE.

HE ENLISTED THE HELP OF ANOTHER NORTH OLMSTED CAPTAIN, DICK LIMPERT, WHO WAS AN EMT INSTRUCTOR.

DICK BECAME OUR TRAINER AND DID HE HAVE HIS HANDS FULL!

HE WAS A GREAT MAN BUT WAS NOT USED TO WORKING WITH CIVILIANS AND ESPECIALLY WOMEN. I THINK HE LEARNED AS MUCH AS HE TAUGHT.
THE TRAINING IS NOW MUCH MORE INTENSE AND THE ONGOING SKILL LEVELS REQUIRED ARE GREATER. MEDICAL
CARE HAS GROWN BY QUANTUM LEAPS AND BOUNDS SINCE
WE FIRST STARTED.

NOW, 30 YEARS LATER, WE FIND OURSELVES WITH A
DEPARTMENT, LED BY CHIEF MARIO D'AMICO AND ASSISTANT
CHIEF GREG SMITH.

THE DEPARTMENT HAS COMBINED WITH THE FIRE SIDE,
GROWN TO 40 WELL TRAINED CAREGIVERS, USES MORE
MODERN EQUIPMENT, AND HAS PROCEDURES AIMED AT
SAVING MORE PEOPLE'S LIVES.

FROM THE ORIGINAL 30 MEMBERS, ONE IS STILL PRACTICING
AS A PARAMEDIC AND FOUR OF US ARE STILL ON THE
DEPARTMENT.

A FEW OF THE SUCCESS STORIES SINCE OUR INCEPTION ARE:

SEVERAL OF OUR MEMBERS HAVE GONE ON TO BECOME
NURSES OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.
ONE OF OUR MEMBERS HAS BEEN SELECTED TO RECEIVE A
PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL AWARD RECOGNIZING HER AS ONE OF THE TOP HEALTH CARE INSTRUCTORS IN THE UNITED STATES.

THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN ABLE TO STAFF THE STATION FOR
12 HOURS EACH DAY, PROVIDING IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO
OUR RESIDENTS.

THE NUMBER OF PARAMEDICS CONTINUES TO GROW WHICH
PROVIDES YOU WITH A BETTER LEVEL OF CARE.

EMS BILLING TO NONRESIDENTS HAS PROVIDED US WITH NEW
MODERN EQUIPMENT SUCH AS THE AMBULANCE SEEN BEHIND
YOU.
THE ORIGINAL 31 WERE A DIVERSE GROUP, FROM ACTIVE
FIREFIGHTERS TO HOUSEWIVES TO BUSINESSMEN AND WOMEN
TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES.

A COMMITTEE WAS FORMED TO BUY OUR FIRST AMBULANCE.
WE RESEARCHED, STUDIED, KICKED TIRES AND FINALLY
BOUGHT OUR FIRST UNIT FOR ABOUT $ 40,000.00

IN COMPARISON, OUR LATEST AMBULANCE COST US OVER $120,000.00

WE ALL WENT THROUGH THE TRAINING AND GRADUATED
TOGETHER, A NEW FAMILY OF EXCITED YOUNG ROOKIES.

OUR FIRST CALLS WERE SOMETHING! WHEN WE GOT A CALL,
ABOUT 20 PEOPLE WOULD DRIVE LIKE MAD AND THERE WERE
SO MANY PEOPLE AT THE SCENE, WE OVERWHELMED THE
PATIENT AND THEIR FAMILIES.

EVENTUALLY, WE ALL MATURED AND BUZZ MADE OUT A
SCHEDULE SO WE MADE SURE THE TOWNSHIP WOULD HAVE
COMPLETE COVERAGE.

THE FIRST OFFICERS WERE:

BUZZ RIOPELLE - ASSISTANT CHIEF

STEVE KENNISTON - CAPTAIN

ART SCHUHMACHER - LIEUTENANT

JACK PETRONE - LIEUTENANT

WE STARTED OUT AS BASIC EMT's WORKING WITH DR. NEIL
GRABENSTETTER, OUR LOCAL DOCTOR.

TODAY, DR. DAVE LEVINE, A SPECIALIST IN EMERGENCY
MEDICINE AND THE STAFF OF MEDINA HOSPITAL OVERSEE OUR
40 PERSONNEL.

AS A TOKEN OF OUR APPRECIATION, WE PRESENT THE
DEPARTMENT WITH THIS FRAMED DECAL. IT IS THE ORIGINAL
DECAL FROM ONE OF OUR OLD AMBULANCES WHICH DEPICTS
OUR DEDICATION TO THE COMMUNITY SINCE 1977.

AS ONE OF THE FOUNDING MEMBERS, IT IS MY PLEASURE TO
READ THE NAMES OF THE ORIGINAL 30 MEMBERS.

AS I READ YOUR NAME PLEASE JOIN ME ON STAGE TO BE
RECOGNIZED AS The PROUD VOLUNTEER WHO HELPED START
THIS ORGANIZATION.

AS A FINAL TRIBUTE, I WOULD LIKE TO READ THE NAMES OF OUR FALLEN MEMBERS.

They WILL BE REPRESENTED BY THEIR SPOUSES WHO WERE AS
BIG A PART OF THE ORGANIZATION AS THEIR HUSBANDS WERE.

ART SCHUMACHER

JIM ADAMS

PLEASE JOIN ME IN SHOWING YOUR APPRECIATION TO THESE
PEOPLE WHO GAVE THE VALLEY CITY EMS ITS BEGINNING.

THERE IS A CAKE AND COFFEE BEING SERVED AFTER THE
CEREMONY in the FIRE STATION.

PLEASE JOIN US

THANK YOU AND HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

DENNIS BALLIET

TED BANISIK

PETE BERGER

SANDY BERGER

CORINNE BIRO

BEV BASTOKY

GAIL COOK

MARSHALL COOK

CHRIS DUNLAP

LINDA DUNLAP

JANET HAMILTON

HOLLY PIERCE

STEVE KENNISTON

ANNETTE URBAN

BEV LAKATOSH

BARB MELLERT

DENNIS MEYER

KAREN MUNTZ

CAROL RIFFE

JACK RINGSTMEIER

RUSSELL RIOPELLE

JUDY ROACH

GENE SCHAEFER

BRETT SCHALAMON

GREG SMITH

DEBBIE TRAINE

SHARON WIDENMEYER

JACK PETRONE


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