Belmar’s antique ambulance bound for Henry Ford Museum

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BELMAR — The former Belmar First Aid Squad has already secured its place in history, being one of the oldest first aid squads in the nation, but it seems that the Ford Motor Company hopes to acquire a piece of that history.

According to members of the squad, which ceased operation on April 1, their 1938 panel ambulance will be picked up by Ford later this month and transported to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan.

“We were concerned about where [the ambulance] was going to wind up so we were looking for options,” Fran Hines, former medical director of the Belmar First Aid Squad, said. “This is a good option for us because it’s going to live forever.”

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The ambulance was purchased by the squad brand new in 1938, and was in full use by the squad until the 1950s. After the time, the squad would use it once in a while in order to keep it in working order, but its main function was to be used during parades.

Currently, the ambulance is being housed at the squad’s former headquarters, at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and E Street. Representatives of the Ford Motor Company are expected to pick up the vehicle on July 16 at 1 p.m., and transport the vehicle from the borough which it had called home for the past 84 years.

“We wanted it out there so people can see it. When we contacted Ford they became very interested in this truck,” Mr. Hines said, adding that when the squad sent the company the original purchase receipt, representatives from Ford were surprised. “They were really excited that the truck even existed. They promised us that they would take great care.

Stephen Hines, a lifelong member of the squad, said that he was able to get into contact with the Ford Motor Company by speaking to a local dealership in Wall Township. After three months of emailing details about the ambulance back and forth, he received a call from Dearborn, Michigan.

“The first stop for our ambulance would be Ford’s corporate ambulance up in Dearborn and then it goes to the Henry Ford Museum after that,” he said.

“It’s nice that it sat in town since 1938. We took it all over the state and even to Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York for parades,” Stephen Hines said. “We want our story to go out beyond the little town of Belmar and show how it all started.”

The Belmar First Aid Squad was formed in 1927 and according to the organization’s website it is the oldest dedicated first aid service in the country. It served the residents of Belmar and Lake Como until April 1, when the squad ceased operations and turned over the reins to a borough-operated first aid service.

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