American Medical Response Portland Operations hosted a dual celebration to honor National Emergency Medical Services Week and AMR’s 100th anniversary of ambulance service to the Portland area.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: AMR - Buck Ambulance was founded in Portland in 1913 by Ben Buck, and had many notable firsts in the EMS industry.AMR provides services in the United States to more than 18,500 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals, with a fleet of 4,100 vehicles, transporting more than 3 million people nationwide each year in critical, emergency and nonemergency situations. Locally, AMR provides ambulance services in Multnomah, Clackamas and Clark counties.

In 1913, Ben Buck and Frank Sheperd were founding owners of AMR’s earliest predecessor company, Oregon Ambulance Service, which was renamed Buck Ambulance in 1924. After Ben Buck’s retirement in 1949, son Barney Buck’s family ran the ambulance operations. Buck Ambulance led the nation in innovations in patient care including: carrying oxygen (1943), two-way radios (1948), first-aid kits, and was the first ambulance service in the nation to save a cardiac arrest patient (as part of the Coronary Ambulance Project in 1969).

With a special appearance by the Buck family, AMR honored a century of innovation and excellence by the companies and employees that came together to form AMR Northwest: Oregon Ambulance Service, Buck Ambulance, Willamette Falls Ambulance, American Ambulance, Alpine Ambulance, AA Ambulance, MEDIX Ambulance and Care Ambulance.

Since 1913, AMR and its predecessor companies have provided emergency medical services and medical transportation in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

As part of the celebration, AMR’s Portland Operations showcased historical ambulance memorabilia and antique ambulances (1923 Dodge and 1947 Cadillac) alongside today’s state-of- the-art vehicles and the latest in pre-hospital medical care technologies.

This year’s EMS Week theme was “EMS: One mission One team.” National EMS Week brought together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety, and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s “front line.”

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