Brief History

Finger Lakes Ambulance in another age began as Clifton Springs Ambulance Service and was owned by Ed Walters and his wife Martha. The Walters also operated Walter's Garage and Auto Repair service in Clifton Springs. Mr. Walters had one Type III (modular) ambulance along with three 1975-76 Cadillac ambulances and employed 25 medics and drivers to answer less than 1,000 calls per year.

In 1986 Mr. & Mrs. Walters sold their business to a group known as Walters Ambulance Service, Inc. which was led by Operations Manager Kenan Baldridge and General Manger Timothy Charzan.. In January of 1986 Walters Ambulance purchased Geneva Town Ambulance and combined the two ambulance services. On May 26, 1988 Walters incorporated under the name Finger Lakes Ambulance. Manager Tim Charzan left in favor of new General Manager Trent Amond and Operations Manager Tudy Driscoll. The combined services ran with four ambulances and answered around 1800 calls in the first few years.

In 1993 Mr. Amond hired two paramedics who were to become ALS supervisors and lead FLA into a new era with a major expansion of services. Paramedics Mark Tornstrom and Ken Kelly became operations supervisors in charge of ALS patient care and operations, ALS training and a new comprehensive QA program. A fly car was added to the program and ALS services were expanded to include all of the operating area in a 20 mile radius of Clifton Springs, 24/7, the first full-time ALS in the four-county Finger Lakes Region.

In 1997 Mr. Amond left Finger Lakes Ambulance. Operations Supervisor Ken Kelly took up the reins as General Manager and Director of Operations. The service soon grew from around 3500 calls in 1997-98 to a projected volume in 2010 of nearly 11,000 calls. Under Mr. Kelly's leadership, a full-time comprehensive ALS/BLS program along with Mobile Intensive Care (MICU), Special Operations (Disaster Relief Teams) and bariatric patient services were initiated. These new services operated with the guidance of Operations Supervisors Bill Comella and JR Miller. Field operations and communications were overseen by a Field Operations Captain and four lieutenants.

About The Author

Kenneth Kelly

General Manager 1998-2014