Our History

How did we come to be the Warsaw-Lincoln Ambulance District?

 For many years Mr. John Reser and staff had provided a valuable emergency transport service to Benton County residents as well as part of Camden, Hickory and St. Clair Counties. Other people passing through who were involved in accidents or sudden illness were also served. These calls came at any hour of the day or night, many times conflicting with the major services of the funeral home.

Left, Bud Balke - Right, Darrell Waisner

Left, Bud Balke – Right, Darrell Waisner

In 1974, federal and state mandates required that personnel who gave emergency services should have formal emergency medical training and be licensed as Emergency Medical Technicians. At least two EMT’s were required on every emergency call. Mr. Reser felt he could not provide this level of service to the community.

Therefore, an election (financed by Mr. Reser) was held to form the Warsaw Community Ambulance District. A board of directors was formed and a 15 mil levy was approved. The original board of directors included Darrell Waisner (President), Jim Drake (Treasurer), Irv Henry.

The Board began an extensive search for an Administrator / Operator to manage the district and provide emergency services. It was very difficult to find a qualified people at this time, as many other districts were being formed and little training was available. After much searching with little success Darrell and Barb Waisner agreed to begin the services until someone could be found. Darrell resigned from the Board of Directors and was retained as an independent contractor providing service on November 1, 1974.

Historic Patches Used by the District

Historic Patches Used by the District

Mr. Reser provided the first ambulance for the district which had been in use by the funeral home. The district applied for and received a fully equipped ambulance funded completely by State and Federal funds. A second ambulance was obtained later also with State and Federal funds. This allowed having a backup ambulance at all times if the primary vehicle was out on call.

Golden Valley Hospital provided a state approved Nurse / Instructor for the basic EMT training. A class began using meeting facilities at Warsaw High School. The original class consisted of 32 volunteers who were willing to assist when needed.

Darrell Waisner was certified as an EMT and CPR instructor and subsequently taught and certified two more classes of volunteers at later dates. In addition, CPR courses were given for anyone who was interested.

One of our original ambulances

One of our original ambulances

Warsaw Community Ambulance was one of the first rural areas to provide EMT-Paramedic services qualified in advanced cardiac life support. We were one of the first to purchase and utilize a portable Lifepak 5 Defibrillator, able to transmit EKG’s and vital information to the hospital, Start IV’s and administer medication following a doctor’s order by direct contact via radio.

In 1978, Mr. Fred Davis decided he could no longer provide emergency transport service for the Lincoln area. An election was held and Lincoln was voted in to the Warsaw Community Ambulance District. At that time the district’s name changed to what it’s known today Warsaw – Lincoln Ambulance District.