About Us

The Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps was first started in 1958 due to the initiative of Walter Detwiller, a Beacon police officer and member of the Beacon Engine Company. Originally from New Jersey, his son's life was saved by a local volunteer ambulance service in the area. After moving to Beacon, he thought that it would greatly benefit the community to have our own ambulance service, and he went to work on the project. He enlisted the help of Joe Catalano, George Cable, and the members of the Beacon Engine Company, and recruited 29 people to start the Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Our first ambulance was a burned out 1948 Cadillac that was donated from a dealer in New Jersey and was refurbished by our members. The ambulance was housed at the Beacon Engine Company, where our emergency calls were received. We soon outgrew our facilities there, and through the efforts of the Beacon Engine Company, an old two bay garage was donated to BVAC. As the years passed, BVAC again felt the growing pains, and in 1975, construction on the current building commenced. This was done primarily by volunteers, with heavy construction assistance from the local Navy Reserve Seabee Unit. After five long years of construction, the BVAC headquarters as we know it today was dedicated in May of 1980.

Initially, there was no county dispatch system, so at first, 3, then 7 members had phones installed in their homes to receive emergency calls. They would get on the phone and notify members to man the ambulance whenever an emergency call came in. In 1980, a new dispatch system came to BVAC as the Beacon Police Department began to answer the phone lines and would, in turn, dispatch us by way of our, then new, pagers. This continued until 1984 when we joined the Dutchess County Bureau of Fire dispatch system, which we still use to this day.

We have changed and upgraded our service many times since our incorporation on April 16, 1959. We became New York State certified in 1990, defibrillation certified in 1991, and began providing complete advanced life support by way of contract providers in October of 1996. We currently run a fleet of three modern, fully equipped, New York State certified ambulances, a first response vehicle, and a mass casualty incident trailer. Additionally, BVAC maintains a utility terrain vehicle for rescues within the vast mountainous terrain of our district. We currently run approximately 2500 calls per year, making us one of the busiest volunteer services in the county.