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Canandaigua Emergency Squad, Naples Ambulance complete merger

  • / Updated:
  • Concetta Durso 

Canandaigua Emergency Squad (CES) and Naples Ambulance have officially merged. Similar to CES’s 2015 merger with East Bloomfield Volunteer Ambulance, the Naples Ambulance merger will ensure the same commitment to timely emergency care to the greater Canandaigua community by creating the Naples Ambulance Division of the Canandaigua Emergency Squad. 

The Naples ambulance fleet and volunteers will keep their iconic triangle of grapes and purple ambulances. And despite rising operational costs and decreased volunteers for small volunteer EMS agencies, the legacy Naples Ambulance was built on will not waiver. 

“This is an exciting partnership for CES and one we’re extremely proud of,” said Matthew Sproul, chief of Canandaigua Emergency Squad. “In a small community like Naples, the history of Naples Ambulance and the incredible people that have held long-term commitments to help build the agency up to where it is today deserve to be recognized for everything they’ve done and will continue to do in order to keep the community safe.” 

CES responds to over 7,100 calls a year and operates entirely without tax-based support to serve the towns of Canandaigua, Hopewell, Bristol, parts of South Bristol, Gorham, Bloomfield and the village of East Bloomfield. 

“This merger frees up volunteers to concentrate on providing direct ambulance service to the community without having to worry about administrative, operational or regulatory compliance issues with no change to the level of service to the community,” said Sproul. 

For Naples Ambulance, it all started in 1962 when Dick and Skippy Hawks donated a 1961 Buick Station Wagon. Maxfield Hose Company Ambulance formedunder the direction of Fire Chief Francis Fisher and a dedicated core of men.This group included Bruce, Brad and Wendel Clawson, Larry Schutz, Bob Ratcliff, Elmer Ball and many others over the years. From there, two more ambulances would be added over the years and women were admitted in the department in the mid-1970s.The agency would see many changes in its leadership and membership. 

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

In 2007, a difficult decision was made to separate fromthe Maxfield Hose Company and establish Naples Ambulance, Inc. as a new entity.This separation would allow Naples Ambulance, Inc. to bill insurance companies for services rendered to help fund the high operational costs. Later that year, Naples Ambulance, Inc. moved into its new home at 199 North Main Street, the former “Classics” building. In 2018, Naples Ambulance was struggling to find volunteers and started working with Canandaigua Emergency Squad to lease EMTs to ensure proper coverage within the community. 

“Naples Ambulance responds to approximately 350 calls a year, and each year the need gradually increases, thus expenses increase,” said Sheila Brundage, captain of Naples Ambulance. “CES gave us the opportunity to move forward with a merger that benefits our members and volunteers, and most importantly the Naples community to ensure our services will be well equipped and sustained into the future.” 

Both entities firmly believe that it is essential to keep things as consistent as possible, but during this time, reflect on the many people that held long-term commitments to help build the agency up to where it is today; to name a few, Caroline Schutz, Sheila Brundage, Linda and John Almekinder, Sande Johnson, John Halunen, Bob Trischler and many more. 

Naples Ambulance has made many significant contributions to the community and nation. For example, in 2001 when the September 11th Terrorist Attack occurred, EMS reinforcements were called in from counties all over New York. When Ontario County asked – Naples was among the five agencies that raised their hands to go down and help at Ground Zero. A team of 3 Naples EMT’s Captain Linda Almekinder, Patrice Edgerton and Sande Johnson served a 3-day tour around ground zero.

In 2002 under the direction of Fire Chief Patrick Elwell and EMS Captain Almekinder, an Automatic External Defibrillator was purchased and donated to the Naples Police Department, the first law enforcement agency in the county to have a mobile AED in a patrol car.

For more information on Canandaigua Emergency Squad or the merger with Naples Ambulance, please email [email protected] or call (585)394-5860.