Reading Emergency Unit began when the Reading Police Department, with the Chief "T" Esterline, recognized the need of a local ambulance service. After a year of study, and planning, Reading Police Department Emergency Unit #1 was born. With area donations and fund-raisers, a 1963 Station wagon was purchased for use as an ambulance. St. Johns Funeral Home of Reading, donated all the medical supplies needed for the first ambulance. Eleven local law enforcement personnel headed by "T" Esterline took First-aid and CPR training.
The first ambulance and its personnel were shown in the annual Reading Halloween Parade, and officially went into service midnight Halloween night (November 1, 1970) stationed at the Reading Police Department, servicing the City of Reading and surrounding Camden and Montgomery Townships.
Since then Reading Emergency Unit has grown tremendously. In November 1990, REU began operations in the City of Hillsdale, March 1991, in the City of Litchfield, and in September 1994, began operating an ambulance from the Somerset Township Fire Station.
EMS Training has changed dramatically, along with the advances in emergency medicine. CPR is still required, although now ambulance personnel must have an EMS license to operate. To do this they must successfully complete EMS education programs, and pass state written and practical examinations before they have a license to operate on an ambulance.
Education can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
Since January 1, 1996, REU provides Advanced Life Support care with our 6 ambulances and 1 echo vehicle, located throughout Hillsdale County. In the first year REU had just over 200 emergency calls for service, compared to 1997, we responded to over 3,600 with an average response time of 8 minutes throughout the county.
With our dedicated team, we will continue to grow and prosper, with the goal of providing the best and efficient patient care possible to our friends and family of Hillsdale County.