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Scott A. Anderson
08-13-2014, 09:56 AM
On Tuesday, I drove down to Rochester for the day with Gene Rafferty, April Warner, and Jon Nisja to attend the Gold Cross Ambulance early bird event. Gold Cross owner/founder John Perkins had an excellent AV presentation on the history of ambulance service in Rochester. This service grew from providing service in Rochester, to Duluth, Mankato, and several other cities in Minnesota. Eventually he sold to the Mayo Clinic, who continues to operate Gold Cross Ambulance service today.

Perkins also had a very nice Ford Seibert ambulance and vintage EMS equipment on display.

It was fun to see John again after all these years. He was an instructor at various state-wide EMS symposiums in the early 70’s that I attended when I first got involved in ambulance work. This was in the era when we were transitioning from American Red Cross advanced first aid to EMT. There were various transition seminars covering CPR, backboards, vehicle extrication, and other skills that went beyond first aid. John was a member of a team of part-time instructors organized throughout the State called Professional Rescue Instructors of Minnesota (PRIM’s). They were pioneers in teaching these advanced care subjects and being a champions for adoption of EMT and the concept of emergency medical services as being system of care that included designation of trauma centers, establishment of assigned primary service areas for ambulance providers. Prior to this time, ambulance service territories were a free for all often at the expense of quality care to patients.

While attending college in Mankato in the mid-70’s and working at the former Kost Ambulance, Jon Nisja and I also had occasion to see John and his Gold Cross staff while making patient transfers to the Mayo Clinic hospitals in Rochester. Gold Cross has always had an outstanding reputation as an EMS provider in this region.

As for “Respond to Rochester”, it looks to be an excellent meet. Weather will be great. The hotel is very nice with a great parking area for our cars. Several folks were already there and I heard that there were already 26 professional cars in the lot. Looking forward to meeting folks and putting a face to names I have seen on these forums over the past few years. I will be back in Rochester with my ambulance on Thursday evening.

Nice work Tony! Looking forward to the rest.