Pasadena History: Riviera Beach Offers Longest Ambulance Service
In 1923, the Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company began the longest continuous ambulance service in Anne Arundel County.
Here’s your weekly dose of some Pasadena history thanks to The Pasadena Peninsula, by Isabel Shipley Cunningham.
Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company got its start in the 1930s with just one fire engine and one ambulance, which both had trouble on unpaved roads.
"Despite hard times, the Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company, founded by Mac Eschenbach in 1930, became an important part of the community," Cunningham wrote. "In September 1931, the company bought a new fire engine with many special features.
"On a demonstration run on Fort Smallwood Road, which was being graded in preparation for paving, the fire truck overturned and Chief Ellsworth Barton lost his life when a grading machine forced the fire engine driver to move to a sloping shoulder..."
"Riviera Beach bought a Buick ambulance in 1937 and began the longest and continuous ambulance service in Anne Arundel County. Responding to calls became easier when the county paved local roads in 1937.
"In 1938, the company built a hall where the Ladies Auxiliary raised funds for a second engine, a second ambulance, and an enlarged firehouse. Riviera Beach fireman began to train at the University of Maryland in 1939.
"Two years later, the company bought a second pumper and another ambulance."
Check back next Wednesday for more Pasadena history. For a complete listing of all Tidbits of History columns, please click here.