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AVFR has seen dramatic changes in last half-century

Emergency Medical Services in Gloucester entered its 50th year of operation in 2018, also marking the 18th year since Abingdon Volunteer Fire and Rescue became a joint operation.

These men and women are the latest generation of first responders in a department that has seen dramatic changes in the last half-century.

The Abingdon Fire Department has operated since 1950 and, prior to 1968, ambulance services were undertaken by funeral homes until the commonwealth decided that dedicated EMS was needed.

Abingdon Volunteer Rescue Squad was formed in 1968 and merged with the fire department at the turn of the new millennium.

In the early years of EMS, ambulances were housed in an old Studebaker dealership at the intersection of Guinea and Mark Pine roads.

EMS teams would “run through a cornfield at 2 o’clock in the morning to get to the ambulance,” explained Abingdon’s Public Information Officer Robert Parlett.

The 1970s saw the coming of a new station in Hayes....

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