Canton Rescue to upgrade services

From the left are Alan Rudy, a paramedic and director of operations at R.B. Lawrence Ambulance Service, Luella Fisher, human service director and dispatcher; R.B. Lawrence III, owner; and Michael Morgan, treasurer, Canton Rescue Squad, Inc.

CANTON — Canton Rescue Squad Inc. is waiting to begin its own ambulance service business.

Canton Rescue is awaiting approval from the state Department of Health and the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council for the purchase of the R.B. Lawrence Ambulance Service, 5747 Route 11, Canton.

“I’m excited to move forward. It’s a perfect situation. We will have the best of the best for the community,” said Michael Morgan, Canton Rescue Squad treasurer. “It’s something I’ve never seen before: volunteers and a not-for-profit buying a for-profit. I see long-term benefits to the community having paid staff at both facilities.”

Mr. Morgan said Canton Rescue Inc. has no obligation to Canton taxpayers and the new acquisition will help boost the department’s revenue.

He added this upgrade in services will also prove beneficial to neighboring departments faced with manpower issues.

“We will be in a perfect position to help,” he said.

The sale, at an undisclosed price, will include seven ambulances on an approximate four-acre lot and will remain on the tax rolls. The site also has a pond that holds 550,000 gallons of water which would significantly enhance the fire department’s water availability.

Owner R.B. Lawrence III said he was pleased to have Canton Rescue take over the business.

“Candidly, it’s something I was hoping to do for a number of years. The kids didn’t take an interest in it and it got to the point every year two or three people wanted to buy it, but it didn’t pan out,” Mr. Lawrence stated. “I’m glad it’s happening.”

“It’s definitely a good thing because in a large way the Canton Fire Department has been a strong proponent of us doing what we do. We were there to assist them with any ambulance assistance,” he added.

He said his father, R.B. “Buster” Lawrence Jr., helped create an ambulance service within the Canton Fire Department in the late 1920s. For many years, the business was housed on Nickerson Street in Canton, then relocated to Park Street and in 2007 to its current site on Route 11 South.

Alan Rudy is the director of operations at R.B. Lawrence Ambulance Service, who oversees 12 full-time salaried employees and approximately 13 part-time people. Mr. Rudy is also a paramedic, the highest level of emergency medical technician (EMT) certification.

“I can do all aspects of all services provided and I have the ability to step in any role,” Mr. Rudy said. “This move will create a solution to a very common problem across the United States, and it will work.”

“This purchase will allow a creative and unique way to better serve residents of Canton and St. Lawrence County and allows them {Canton Rescue] to generate revenue without taxpayers revenue,” he continued. “It will be a better product with the combination of two good resources and will create an awesome product.”

The ambulance service provides EMT Critical Care transports and Basic Life Support transport; mainly to Syracuse, Plattsburgh and Burlington, Vt.

Once the transaction is complete, the business name will change to Canton Rescue Squad and the headquarters will be named the R.B. Lawrence Ambulance Building.

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