Need an Ambulance in Cecil County in 1953, Call Ernie’s Cab Company

Fire department based emergency medical services in Cecil County evolved slowly after World War II. The first company to acquire an ambulance was Singerly in 1941.  Before that the American Legion in Elkton operated a unit for many years, but as the war approached they pulled back.  After that, Taylor McKenney’s Garage in Elkton, answered medical transport calls, until the fire service got involved.  Also, beginning in 1935 the Conowingo State Police barrack operated a transport vehicle and they continued with that service into the 1940s.

In the next decade after Singerly inaugurated its ambulance service, other companies joined in.  In 1955, the Community Fire Company of Perryville and the Community Fire Company of Rising Sun started providing emergency medical transportation to the western end of Cecil.  North East Volunteer Fire Company followed in 1956.  In the 1960s, two more organizations added ambulances to their fleets.  The Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 of Chesapeake City started in 1963, and Water Witch of Port Deposit added a unit in 1964.

But in the early 1950s, there were few ambulances available in the county to answer accident and medical calls.  So perhaps Ernie’s Taxi saw a business opportunity, for the Elkton cabby announced in 1953 that he now had available for public use a fully equipped and approved ambulance, available on a 24-hour basis to all residents of Cecil County and surrounding areas.  What’s more the rates were reasonable for local and local  distance calls.

Cecil Democrat April 9, 1953.

Cecil Democrat April 9, 1953.


6 responses to “Need an Ambulance in Cecil County in 1953, Call Ernie’s Cab Company

  1. Until the other local fire companies established ambulance service, Harford Memorial Hospital provided ambulance service to western Cecil County. This was continued after the hospital gave up the ambulance service and the Havre de Grace American Legion took it over. It took provided service to western Cecil County. The Havre de Grace fire company, the Susquehanna Hose Company never provided ambulance service.

    • John thanks for sharing that bit of history. I didn’t realize that Harford Memorial operated an ambulance in the days before the American Legion. You don’t happen to know the years do you. Anyway thanks for sharing that.

  2. I really enjoy reading this kind of local history. Thanks


  3. Approximately 1929 to 1953. The interesting part was what number to call since it was ran by the American Legion in Havre de Grace, since the Susquehanna Hose Company did not want it.
    Back then, it was not uncommon for American Legions to operate them. The one in Georgetown, Delaware still operates one.

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