“FIRST IN THE WORLD” POST # 14 AMERICAN LEGION AMBULANCE SERVICE
In 1924, the members of the David C. Harrison American Legion Post # 14 initiated the first American Legion ambulance service in the world. Its eighteen founding members were veterans of World War I who volunteered their time to transport the sick and injured to hospitals in Wilmington, Dover, Milford, and beyond. Prior to this time, persons needing medical assistance were transported by train. This practice was often time-consuming and thereby dangerous to patients who were seriously ill and in need of treatment. At the time of its founding, services were provided to a district that extended from Summit Bridge to Milford. Originally located on South Main Street in Smyrna, the service was moved to this location in 1961.
The Post # 14 American Legion Ambulance Service has been in continuous operation since its founding, and now serves an area from the Delaware Bay to the Maryland border, from Collins Beach to Garrison’s Lake. Staffed largely by volunteers, the service was responsible for answering more than 25,000 calls for assistance during its first seventy-five years of operation.
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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Kevin Barni at (302) 744-5015 or via email at Kevin.Barni@state.de.us.
LOCATION: Smyrna, two blocks west of Route 6 and US 13.