Sunday, May 03, 2015
When Sandusky’s Funeral Homes Provided Ambulance Service
Before organized emergency medical services were introduced in the United States, funeral homes often provided emergency ambulance service as well as transportation for sick patients. In the souvenir booklet from Sandusky’s Centennial Celebration in 1924, Charles J. Andres’ Sons funeral directors offered 24-hour sedan ambulance service. In the same publication, the Frey Furniture and Undertaking Co. advertised an auto invalid car “used exclusively for the living.”
In this picture from a 1924 parade, the Andres Funeral Home vehicle had the word ambulance lettered above the white cross on the front of the car.
The billboard in the undated picture below from rural Erie County stated that the Frey Funeral Home also offered ambulance service.
Listings in Sandusky City Directories indicate that local funeral homes provided ambulance service from the 1920s through the 1970s. An article in the June 25, 1964 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that during the 1950s and 1960s, the Andres, Frey, Keller, Quick and Suitor Funeral Homes rotated ambulance service on a monthly basis, so that the calls were distributed fairly. David Suitor stated that he personally delivered five babies while on ambulance calls in Sandusky.