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Tri-State welcomes visitors to mark 50 years in ambulance business



You might consider yourself lucky if you’ve never had to be transported to a hospital in an ambulance.

Many people got to see ambulances up close on Saturday, however, in a non-emergency setting, when Tri-State Ambulance celebrated 50 years in business.

Tri-State medical director Dr. Chris Eberlein says the ambulances have come a long way from what in some cases may have been modified station wagons.

“We’ve really changed from just grabbing someone, putting them in the ambulance and giving them a ride to actually iniciating care taht’s standardized and evidence based,” Eberlein said.

The medical director for Tri-State, Dr. Eberlein, added that he can’t predict what advances might come in the next five years because so much has changed in the recent past.

A few dozen visitors toured the Tri-State headquarters near Copeland Avenue during the weekend open house.

A timeline was printed on the office walls, showing how Tri-State has grown from what started as just an ambulance company in 1968. There was also an 1965 Oldsmobile ambulance on hand to go along with displays of the latest in medical response equipment.

“The computers, the vehicle tracking, the routing — every ambulance has three or four computers, has internet so people are interested in that as well” Tri-State executive director Tom Tornstrom said. “And then, also, the medical equipment, which is much different and safer than it used to be.”

Tornstrom added that Tri-State was founded right around the time that ambulances started providing emergency care in the vehicle, instead of waiting until after a patient was brought to a hospital.

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