Humble Heroes second edition

Scott Reinbolt

New member
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I have finished the second edition of my book, "Humble Heroes-setting the record straight about funeral home operated ambulance service". The new version has expanded text (20 more pages), 30 new photos, and is paperback bound. The books will be available to ship in 6 weeks, but I'm taking pre-orders if anyone is interested. You folks have always been good to me, so I'm offering it here first before advertising any place else. If you would like a copy, PM me and we'll work out payment and I'll get your address for shipping. Price is $20, plus $5 shipping and handling.

Scott Reinbolt View attachment 40033
 

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Brady D Smith

PCS Life Member / PCS Past President / Elected Dir
question

I never got the first one. Is the material from the first book included in this one?
 

Scott Reinbolt

New member
Site Supporter
answer

The majority of the material from the first edition is included in this edition. I would estimate a solid 85%. Hope that helps.
 

Scott Reinbolt

New member
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An unsolicited review of "Humble Heroes" by a former ambulance service owner:

By Eric R. Voth, retired Chairman, P&S Ambulance Service

HUMBLE HEROES, The History of Funeral Home Operated Ambulance Service, SECOND EDITION, by Scott Reinbolt © 2020, is a comprhensive, thoroughly researched, objective, and honest look at privately operated ambulance service in the United States.

In fact it sets the record straight about these businesses which were often unprofitable, and sometimes scorned or criticized by local political subdivisions. And many of these same political subdivisions showed no interest in helping subsidize their local providers when collection ratios for “street calls” (i.e. accidents; shootings; stabbings; fights; removal of dead bodies, etc.) was in the 50%, or less, range.

Author Scott Reinbolt offers a detailed inside look at ambulance service in several cities. He examines how and why communities came to rely upon funeral homes for medical transportation, and the motivation of funeral directors to continue to provide this vital, but mostly money-losing, service. Plus he discusses the reasons why -- over the years -- many funeral homes bowed out of providing ambulance service.

The book also covers the history of training for emergency medical personnel and changes in vehicle sizes, equipment carried (then and now). It explores the role of the Federal Government in recognizing a need for change and how and why local fire departments became involved in providing service.

It’s a good read for any current or former EMS “adrenaline junkie” interested in the topic!
 

Abe Bush

Moderator
Super Site Supporter
In fact it sets the record straight about these businesses which were often unprofitable,

I largely concur, as I own the 1st edition. I do disagree with two points though:

1. It's my understanding that these funeral home owned/operated ambulance services weren't "often" unprofitable, but instead they were *(almost) ALWAYS* unprofitable. While they may have been able to pick up a quick removal and subsequent full suite of professional services in cases where the ambulance patient turned into a funeral home case, I'm guessing the conversion ratio from patient to "case" wasn't a top heavy one. In other words they may have just as easily gotten the funeral home case whether or not they also performed ambulance services before the patient died.

Instead, funeral homes performed ambulance services in addition to funeral home service because a. It had always been done that way thanks to the Pro car industry that made combination units available that could perform both services relatively easily, and b. they were performing what they considered to be a public service to the community, and (hopefully) generating goodwill.

I know there were likely exceptions to the rules, in cases like Vernon O'Neal in Dallas for example, a moderately sized funeral home business that picked up a lot of ambulance contracts throughout greater dallas and the surrounding metro area. O'Neal used both combo units and full ambulance units, including the full Dallas metro area ambulance contract (at least in November, 1963 when JFK was shot according to William Manchester's book "Death Of A President".

But as far as I know, there is currently no more than one Funeral Home in the entire USA still providing ambulance service.

Plus he discusses the reasons why -- over the years -- many funeral homes bowed out of providing ambulance service.

2. Not "many", but virtually *all*. Because it bled them money. Plus, most ambulance calls they billed out were left unpaid. And they and their staff would have to be available 24/7, 365 days a year for ambulance calls not to mention always having to keep buying new combo (or full ambulance) coaches, keep them stocked, fully maintained and ready, etc.

Scott's book does a great job pointing out these facts, and the sacrifices the funeral home industry made in those years performing ambulance services for their respective communities.
 

Steve Loftin

PCS Member
But as far as I know, there is currently no more than one Funeral Home in the entire USA still providing ambulance service.

My guess is that there are less than 50 funeral homes in the USA still operating ambulances. There are 6 in IL alone. Other states I know of include AR, OH, GA, and MI. There are probably others. Here are some examples:

Emerson's (Jonesboro, AR) operates a dozen ambulances--in various locations--and a few medicars:

https://www.emersonfuneralhome.com/page/343

Duffy's is in Pontiac, IL:

https://www.duffyfuneralhome.com/stories

Maple-Cotton is in Kensington, OH:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Emergency-Rescue-Service/Maple-Cotton-EMS-147093632013009/
 
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Steve Loftin

PCS Member

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Abe Bush

Moderator
Super Site Supporter

David Henry

PCS Member
Super Site Supporter
My guess is that there are less than 50 funeral homes in the USA still operating ambulances. There are 6 in IL alone. Other states I know of include AR, OH, GA, and MI. There are probably others. Here are some examples:

Emerson's (Jonesboro, AR) operates a dozen ambulances--in various locations--and a few medicars:

https://www.emersonfuneralhome.com/page/343

Duffy's is in Pontiac, IL:

https://www.duffyfuneralhome.com/stories

Maple-Cotton is in Kensington, OH:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Emergency-Rescue-Service/Maple-Cotton-EMS-147093632013009/

Steve, who is operating in Michigan? Do you have a link to website or Facebook? Thanks
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2020
Super Site Supporter
I don't remember the name Bell comes to mind. But the ambulance service was still owned by the home when we were doing EMS. It was full time with a half dozen box rigs the last time i was threw there. But now with the way of the world it could be a SCI home and a AMR ambulance.
 

Steve Loftin

PCS Member

Scott Reinbolt

New member
Site Supporter
Over the past couple of weeks I've heard from some PCS members telling me that an incorrect email address for ordering "Humble Heroes" is circulating and causing people trouble when trying to order the book. Just FYI the book is available at www.funeralambulance.com or feel free to PM me on this site.

Scott Reinbolt
 

Scott Reinbolt

New member
Site Supporter
PCS President suggested I include my mailing address and alternative method of payment for those who aren't computer savvy and want to order the book. My mailing address is Scott Reinbolt, 11076 Sunset Lane, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. If you're a PCS member, I'll accept a personal check. For all others I'll need a postal money order. Thanks to everyone for their help on this.
 
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