The Clark Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps (CTVAC) was organized in 1969, to serve the people of Clark Township. Prior to its inception, Dr. Leonard "Doc" DeLooff (local physician) had been utilizing his own station wagon to make emergency runs. He then purchased a second hand ambulance where he and Ray Ackerman managed the service for the area for approximately eight years. Eventually they had two ambulances. When Ray moved away from the area and a replacement couldn't be found to manage the service, "Doc" donated the two ambulances and equipment to Clark Township. The Clark Township board appointed Charles "Charlile" Paquin as the first Captain of the CTVAC. Vernon Nye was the Assistant Captain and Phyllis Tuck was the Secretary/Treasurer.
At that time, there was no 911 telephone service in place, so local hotel owners, Robert and Joan Newell of the Blue Water Hotel, offered to assist CTVAC by dispatching the ambulance through an exchange at the hotel. That system enabled residents to alert the volunteers to an emergency and request their help. Later, a telephone alert system replaced the dispatch system at the Blue Water Hotel, where the calls would ring directly at the volunteers' homes. Pagers were eventually purchased and the telephone alert system was replaced by several volunteer dispatchers who could alert the pagers and provide the required emergency dispatch information, allowing the volunteers to be available by page, rather than having to stay at home to wait for the telephone to alert them.
Over time, as emergency dispatching evolved nationwide, the 911 system was instituted here, with dispatch being done through the Michigan State Police in Negaunee, Michigan. The current dispatch center is now located in Kinross, Michigan where 911 calls are handled for Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac counties. Volunteers carry pagers and radios are are able to continue with their daily activities while being on call.
Currently, the CTVAC has 2 Basic-level ambulances that are located in downtown Cedarville. CTVAC shares this facility with the Clark Township Volunteer Fire Department. These two agencies work together and share various equipment, including a rescue sled and rescue snowmobile. In addition, the Fire Department has a fire boat that can be used to assist with emergency calls to any of the islands in the Les Cheneaux area. The volunteer corps consists of Medical First Responders and Emergency Medical Technicians who provide pre-hospital emergency care. Patients are generally transported to either Mackinac Straits Hospital in St. Ignace, Michigan or War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
CTVAC is always looking for volunteers who may be interested in becoming a part of this very important organization. Anyone interested in more information on how to become a member or available training opportunities should contact the current Captain, Mark Merchberger at 906-484-3840.
CLARK CPR PROGRAMS
More information to follow: http://clarkcprprograms.wixsite.com/clarkcpr