In 1947, the community of Whitestone New York was blessed with good natured residents, who after dozens of incidents saw no city ambulance respond in a timely fashion and took notice. The World War II veterans who returned home worked as Police Officers, Firefighters, Bus Drivers, Postal Carriers, Carpenters and Plumbers also worked as hearse drivers for Gleason’s funeral home to help support their families. With the blessing of Martin Gleason, when the hearse was not in use, the men volunteered their time and used the hearse as an ambulance. A few months later the Whitestone Community Ambulance Service was established, and Martin Gleason donated his funeral home, rear garage and land to the new organization. The ambulance service has become a vital part of the community which provides a basic life support ambulance to the residents of Whitestone free of charge.
After nearly seven decades of growth, our organization provides a 24 hour emergency medical service, is a participant in the FDNY’s 911 network, allows residents to borrow walkers, wheelchairs and canes, and serves as a community center hosting many events such as blood drives. The Whitestone Community Ambulance Service also serves as an educational facility for CPR training and other aspects of emergency medicine. Continued support from donations and growth has made it possible for our organization to respond to an average of 1,000 calls per year.
Members provide service to the organization as either a Dispatcher, Driver or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). New members typically start off as Dispatchers and work their way up through training to serve as an EMT. As a member’s service continues over time, they are rewarded with free training and certifications including an EMT course. Hundreds of professionals in the fields of emergency services and medicine began their careers at our service. Our organization strives to provide a positive and professional learning experience for those looking to jumpstart their careers at the benefit of giving back to the community. It is through these efforts that the Whitestone Community Ambulance Service continues to fulfill its original mission; to provide a free ambulance to the ill, injured and infirmed residents of the community of Whitestone New York.