In 1979, Town of Wilton residents raised concerns about response times and transport destinations of their ambulance service. That year, the Town contracted with Saratoga Emergency Corp. and Corinth Emergency Squad in an effort to improve services. The Town maintained a vision of having a service established in the Town.
By February 1981, the population in the Town had grown 300%. Interest in forming a “squad” was rapidly growing. A core group of community members led by Murial and Dean Duell, Dean Duell, Jr. and Sharon Cooper formed the Wilton Emergency Squad. These efforts provided the groundwork for the realization of that early vision: having an ambulance service in the Town of Wilton. Supervisor Roy McDonald began the process of providing municipal funding to Wilton Emergency Squad, forging a partnership between the Town and the Squad.
By April 1981, the Squad had obtained an ambulance, a 1973 Pontiac purchased by the Wilton Fire Department and gifted to the newly formed squad. This gift and 21 people newly certified in CPR and First aid allowed the Squad to file for certification with the New York State Department of Health. The organization struggled to find the right leaders and a permanent home throughout the remainder of 1981 and beginning of 1982.
In August of 1982, the Squad obtained approval from the Department of Health to provide emergency services to the Town of Wilton. Newly elected squad president Arnold Bruno presented the Town Board with a copy of its certification and requested $20,000 in seed money to begin operations.
On September 1, 1982 Wilton Emergency Squad, Inc. officially began to respond to requests for service.
On November 29, 1982 the Squad broke ground at its current location on Jones Road on land donated by local developer Michael Dennis. The squad moved into its new Jones Road headquarters by January 1984. The original garage is still standing today and serves as the office for today’s operation.
Through the mid-1980s, the Squad worked to remain financially solvent and forge a sustaining relationship with the Town of Wilton. During this time, the Town asisted with the purchase of a new ambulance and provided support for the Squad to obtain Certification for Advanced Care. The Squad began to provide Advanced Care in June of 1988, which consisted of the ability to provide intravenous fluids and several other “emergency techniques.” The squad was responding to over 500 requests for service by this time.
As the demand for quality service grew in the mid-1990s, the Squad obtained the necessary certifications to provide Paramedic level care. Wilton began supporting basic level services in Corinth and Schuylerville with their cadre of advanced providers. Call levels grew to just under 1,000 annual requests for service. This new growth caused the Squad to evaluate adding employees and begin assessing a fee for service as the cost to provide service outpaced income.
In June of 1999, the Squad began to employ Paramedics to ensure the residents of the Town of Wilton had access to the highest level of pre-hospital healthcare available. The Squad hired 9 Paramedics to ensure coverage demands were met.
Between 1999 and 2004 the Town of Wilton and the Squad began to experience rapid growth in population and requests for service. In the fall of 2004, the Squad completed a 6,000 square foot expansion displayed as our current facility today. In 2017 we merged with General Schuyler. We now cover the Towns of Wilton, Saratoga and Northumberland along with the Villages of Schuylerville and Victory Mills.
Today Wilton EMS operates with a combined staff of 60 volunteers and employees responding to over 3,000 calls annually. We operate a fleet of 5 ambulances and two quick response vehicles from our 2 stations. Wilton EMS was the first agency in Saratoga County to have mechanical CPR devices, video laryngoscopy and to offer Specialty Care Transport Services.