Ambulances parked in our
A page in the history books.
Bloomfield Emergency Medical Services, Inc.
THE idea to form a Bloomfield squad is credited to Bill Illge and George Dunn, who first
discussed the idea in September of 1960. At the time, both men were members of the then
operating Essex County EMS organization. Dunn and Illge approached Tom Dailey and
Joe Dennis, who were also Bloomfield resident members of the county EMS organization.
These men resigned from the county organization – a move which was soon followed by
other Bloomfield resident members.
DAILEY, Dunn and Illge developed the plan for a squad that would serve Bloomfield. They
planned that the squad’s initial hours of operation would be from 6PM to 6AM weeknights,
as well as the entire weekend; with a gradual expansion to 24 hour service. They also
developed a concept of a Board of Trustees made up of “outside” members who would
oversee the operation. They perceived the backbone of the new organization to be strict
regulations for conduct, intensive training, and a reasonable number of officers.
THE Town of Bloomfield was not immediately receptive to the new group. The existing
county Squad continued to operate in Bloomfield despite the effort of the NJ State First-
Aid Council to halt their operations. In the meantime, the charter members updated their
American Red Cross First-Aid certification, and composed a constitution and by-laws for
the new Squad. Tom Dailey was elected the first Captain. The group continued to contact
the Mayor and Town Council regarding the inadequacies of the existing county Squad.
Finally, with the backing of Councilwoman Dorothea Jukes, the new Squad was given
permission to operate within the town. As the plans unfolded, schedules were set up and
offices were appointed: F. Sullivan was the Administrative Lt., and Bill Illge the First-Aid Lt.
Headquarters was set up in the basement of Town Hall, behind a partition in the janitorial
area. There was one set of bunk beds, a table and two chairs.
THE Squad was incorporated on August 11, 1961 and began operations on September 8,
1961. They had two ambulances, ten men, and nine shifts to cover.
BETWEEN 2013 and 2014 the decision was made to officially change the name of the
organization from the Bloomfield Volunteer Emergency Squad, Inc. to Bloomfield
Emergency Medical Services, Inc. Our mission to serve the Township of Bloomfield
remains as vigilant as ever with the same dedication the organization was started with.