In the early 1970's two men, Edward F. McIntyre and Mr. William Matthews perceived the need for a more organized Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in the city of Hoboken. Prior to the establishment of the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps ("HVAC") the Hoboken Police Department ("HPD") provided ambulatory services in Hoboken. The HPD protocol for responding to calls consisted of picking up a doctor at Saint Mary's Hospital, in a black hearse, and then attending to the request for help. This mode of response was soon to change.
In February of 1971, the required equipment to create an ambulance service was acquired. HVAC was incorporated on February 26th, 1971 and training of the original fourteen members began. Initially, training took place in the backroom of the central municipal garage of Hoboken. The Corps first ambulance was purchased for $3,000, which was loaned to the corps by Mr. William Deitrich (deceased), who was the first Captain, interest free. The vehicle was a Cadillac Ambulance from Avenel, NJ VFAS and was numbered E-52. On May 28th, 1971 we responded to our first call- The Pier 5 fire.
In the first year the Corps responded to a total of 648 calls. Soon after the Corps went into service the Maxwell Coffee Company donated our second ambulance. We then moved to a new headquarters, which was leased to us by Stevens Institute of Technology located at 5th & River Street.
In early 1973 we again moved, this time to our present headquarters located at 707 Clinton Street. The purchase of this building was made possible by the "Buy A Brick" program, and the building was renovated from a horse stable to a living facility for our members, as well as a place to put our three new ambulances.
In the years that followed, the Corps responded to an increasing number of calls. Last year the Corps responded to over 5,000 ambulance calls. No one has ever received a bill for our services. Currently we are the last all volunteer ambulance service in Hudson County NJ.
As times change so has the Corps. Currently we have 10 EMS vehicles and 6 bicycles capable of breaking up into 3 teams used in the summer at special events. The Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps has grown and changed over the years, however our motto has remained the same.
In late October 2012, when much of the Northeastern United States was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, the Corps engaged in a multiple week long operation to support the city of Hoboken in its state of emergency. Despite widespread flooding leaving large parts of the city inaccessible even to the largest rescue vehicles, the Corps coordinated an effort to evacuate the low-lying Hoboken University Medical Center of its 131 patients, was forced to evacuate its building and base of operations when threatened by flooding, established a field hospital in a gym on nearby Stevens Institute of Technology, and logged almost 600 calls for service in the initial eight-day period.
Due to extremely heavy call volume, the city of Hoboken was supported by its neighboring communities, by an "strike team" consisting of five ambulances deployed from Pennsylvania, and by elements of the 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry New Jersey Army National Guard. The Corps was initially forced to use front loaders to evacuate patients from flooded areas, and later used Army National Guard cargo trucks to transport patients to waiting ambulances.
Due to the storm and its aftereffects, the Corps lost three vehicles to flooding, including two of its three front line ambulances, and a mobile communications bus. The Corps also suffered damage to their building and lost supplies and equipment.
Phone: (201) 420-2135
Fax: (201) 420-2134
Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps has never billed a patient for our services, not once, since 1971. As a 100% volunteer organization we are able to provide our services thanks to the donations we receive from the community. Please consider helping us keep the 35-year tradition going strong.
Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps
707 Clinton Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030