History of the Company


American Legion Crew 

In the fall of 1939 the Halifax American Legion started running ambulance services for the local communities and was known as the American Legion Ambulance Association. Their first ambulance was a beige Packard hearse. They also had a while hearse. The American Legion turned over the ambulance service to the newly organized Halifax Area Ambulance and Rescue Association, Inc. that was founded in March 1973 by the late Joel E. Grottenhaler.

The first unit for the Association was a 1974 Dodge Van Ambulance purchased in September 1974. A used 1973 Dodge van ambulance was purchased as our second unit. At this time the Association shared bays in the Halifax Borough building at Second and Armstrong Streets with the Halifax and Community Fire Company. In December of 1974 the company took delivery of a 1953 Dodge Rescue Truck (R-13) and a 1952 GMC 2=1/2 ton truck (R-13-1). When the Company first started its number was Company 25. In June 1975 Joel Grottenhauler pushed to have the Company's number changed. He went to Dauphin County Emergency Management and asked to have the Company be assigned another number since the local Halifax Fire Department was also Company 25. Dauphin County agreed to do this. Since the next number due in upper Dauphin County was 13, it was assigned to the Association.

In February 1977 Boat 13 was placed in service and was towed by R-13. In April 1977 a 1969 station wagon was placed in service as Squad 13. In 1978 a chassis was purchased from Swab Wagon Company. A utility box was added to create a rescue unit and was housed in an old livery stable on Armstrong Street. In October of 1978, a 1978 Ford Econoline 150 van ambulance was purchased and placed in service as 13-1. In January of 1979, a Chevy chassis was purchased to replace the chassis on R-13. In August 1981, our unit numbers were changed to 13-A and 13-B while R-13 maintained its designation. In November 1981, we purchased our Lucas extrication tool through donations from the Allison Ruff Fund. We were the first in our response district to have a hydraulic rescue tools.

In February 1984, our Company purchased 5.473 acres on Bunker Hill Road to construct a building to house all the units of the Association since space was cramped with the Fire Department. In March 1984, the Company purchased a 1983 Road Rescue demo ambulance to replace the 1974 Dodge Ambulance. In September of 1988 the new building on Bunker Hill Road was officially dedicated to the late Joel E. Grottenhaler for the dedication and support he put into this Association.

In 1993, we purchased a used ambulance with a 1992 Ford chassis and a 1993 AEV box to replace old 13-A. This unit was painted white and blue ending 19 year's years of Omaha Orange and white. In 1995, a new Ford chassis was purchased to replace the chassis on R-13. In December 1995, we decided to buy a 1994 FORD/AEV demo ambulance to replace old 13-B.

On April 30th 2000, the 1995 Rescue Truck was officially placed out of service for good, ending 28 years of rescue service. It was stripped of all equipment and sold to McClure to be used as a service truck. Halifax Area Ambulance and Rescue Association, Inc. was the first and last ambulance Association in Dauphin County not part of a Fire Department to run a rescue, In December 2002, the Association bought its first brand new Ambulance since the 1974 Dodge van. A 2003 Ford/Braun Chief XL replaced the 1992 Ford/AEV unit. Also in 2002 our unit numbers were changed back to 13-1 and 13-2.

In March of 2003, the Association went to a paid/volunteer system for our members. We currently have 15 EMT’s, 14 paid and 1 volunteer. Our Coverage Area, where Halifax Ambulance is first due, is the Halifax Borough, Halifax Township, parts of Jackson Township, Reed Township to the Clarks Ferry Bridge and Wayne Township to Enders Road. Our ambulance would be dispatched second due in parts of Jackson Township, Jefferson Township, Millersburg Borough, parts of Upper Paxton Township, and Wayne Township beyond Enders Road if the first due ambulances(s) were on calls.

The association replaced the 1994 Ford/AEV with a 2006 Ford/Braun ambulance. In September 2009 the BOD’s approved the purchase of a 2010 Ford/Braun Chief XL. This unit replaced the 2003 Braun ambulance. The new unit is painted black and gold on white instead of blue on white to match the school colors. We currently serve the community with a 2006 Braun ambulance and a 2010 Braun ambulance.

In September 2009 the BOD’s approved the purchase of a 2010 Ford/Braun Chief XL with an expected delivery date of March 2010. This unit will replace the 2003 Braun ambulance. The new unit will be painted with black and gold on white instead of blue on white to match the school colors.