History of Marion EMS

Marion Emergency Medical Services
The First 27 Years and Prior

  • 1960's - First aid-trained police officers and others transported patients.
  • 1974 or 1975 - The State of Massachusetts required towns that provided ambulance services to have, at a minimum, emergency medical technicians (EMT's). Nothing seemed to be moving toward that requirement (Max Schlagel was instrumental in getting things going)
  • 1976 - A state-sponsored and funded EMT course was offered to police and fire personnel. The minimum of 35 was not met, so the town opened to interested citizens.
  • 1977 - Many of the EMT course attendants passed the state test. There was no clear idea who would operate the ambulance service under the new state requirements. Police Chief Ralph Shore did not want his department to run the ambulance. For a while, Fire Chief Jay Hiller was entertaining the idea of having his department run the ambulance. This left the civilians out of the action. Evidently, Chief Hiller had some ambivalence about having the fire department manage the ambulance. The Board of Selectmen was approached by Max Schlagel, Joan Wing, and Dale Joan (maybe others?). The Board advised them to go ahead and set up a group to operate the ambulance. Within a week, that group was back to the Selectmen with a plan which was accepted. The first group that formed Marion EMS included police officers, firefighters, and civilians.
  • 1977 or 1978 - Under the vision of Jimmy Dougall, Marion EMS became a member of Cape and Islands Emergency Medical Services (CIEMS). This move under the umbrella of this progressive organization has continued to prove invaluable over the years. The foresight to join CIEMS has helped Marion EMS to continually be on the cutting edge of EMS.
  • 1980 - Under the leadership of Jimmy Dougall, Marion EMS was awarded the ''State of Massachusetts Emergency Service of the Year". The award was based on the progressive training and service to the community. Also applauded was the town's use of 911. At the time Marion was only one of maybe 60 +/- towns in the commonwealth that had 911 service.
  • 1981 - Marion graduated its first 2 paramedics from class VI of the CIEMS paramedic class: Jimmy Dougall and Dorothy Smith. These two front runners are to be commended for setting up the ambulance with the necessary equipment, getting the proper licenses, and doing the job with no mentors. Although Wareham had been paramedical for several years, Marion's observation of their work was limited.
  • 1984 - Jimmy Dougall was awarded the CIEMS ''Paramedic of the Year". At the time Dougall was involved with committees on the local and state level.
  • 1995 - Dale Thackeray is awarded the CIEMS ''Paramedic of the Year" award. Dale was honored for her outstanding work as a paramedic her contribution to EMS as a teacher, and mentor, her long-time participation on the Critical Stress Management Team, and her kind-hearted demeanor towards patients and others.
  • 1997 or 1998 - With kind funds from the residents of Marion the Benjamin D. Cushing VFW Post Number 2425 purchased its first cardiac monitor with 12 lead capabilities (one of the first in the local area).
  • 1998 - The idea of supplying ambulances and police cruisers with automatic defibrillators (AEDs) was introduced by Joan Wing. Within 18 months of having these devices, three men's lives were saved. These devices are now required equipment on ambulances.
  • 2002 - Marion EMS receives the Albert E Davidson, Jr. Chaplain's Award from the Benjamin D. Cushing VFW Post Number 2425.
  • 2003 - Marion received the designation of "Heart Safe Community". Several criteria related to cardiac care and training had to be satisfied to receive this designation.
  • 2004 - AEDs are provided to the Harbormaster, Old Rochester Regional High School, and the Sippican School.
  • 2011 - The Marion EMS department is merged with the Fire Department to become one entity. The Marion Fire/EMS.
  • 2014 to present - The on-call EMS system is replaced by on-duty part-time EMTs and Paramedics that staff the ambulance 24/7 365 days a year.