Author Archives: jaldoc11

Ordering Book

I can be contacted by mail  Elwood L Schmidt, MD Box 301 UPS Store, 3983 So. MacCarran Blvd, Reno Nv, 89502

email OR

Go to Book Availability tab and use PayPal to order.

After June 2, 2014 books will be sent by US Mail within 4 days of receipt of order from mail, email or paypal.  Any problems with delivery or ordering, please let me know by above contact points or 775-722-0097.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed meeting the people who are the history of EMS in Nevada and have enjoyed telling their (your) story.


Elwood L Schmidt, MD

Some things never change.

As I’ve travelled from town to town and department to department’s history has been explored I found that some things are constants.

How do we find people to work the ambulance calls?

Where do we find the money to maintain, replenish, upgrade our equipment?

How should we be organized?  Should we be independent, part of a fire service, or some other entity?   How should we divide call?

How long should we be on scene?  Should we stabilize and transport, or should we spend 20-40 minutes on site before transporting?

However, the questions of how to treat a situation and the hierarchy of command appear to be usually sorted out.  National standards of training and the implementation of those standards have given clear guidance to department members and between departments as to what treatment course should be followed in a situation.

The unanswered questions will continue to be addressed by each department and political entity as their circumstances dictate and change.

Comments on the prototype book

A number of people have had the opportunity to look at the prototype book, about 90% of the anticipated finished project.  One of the comments heard several times was “How innovative they were!  Those people made a lot of the equipment they used and they had to do all those fund raisers to get equipment and sometimes just to get the gasoline to run the ambulance.  What dedications!”  I can only add AMEN.  The people in many of our communities when the EMS-ambulance services began in their more modern form were innovative and dedicated.  I am very happy to have met them and recorded their stories, and have the opportunity to share those stories in this book.  You are welcome to forward me any comments at

Things I have learned. Part II

Time waits for no one.  I conceived a general idea of this project in 2009-2010 and tried to get other people or organizations to do this history.  When no one else was able or willing, my wife said I should do it.  In Sept of 2012 I started the contacts and the process of doing interviews for this history.  In that interval of  time Dr. John Batdorf of Las Vegas died, one of the true pioneers in prehospital care in Nevada, and the opportunity to get his history recorded died with him.  Rocky Ging of Lovelock died and his long history with Pershing County was lost.  As this project has proceeded I had some serious health problems and the urgency of getting the stories recorded and organized became more evident.  Time not only steals our lives, but the clarity of our memories.  The point is, I wish I had started to gather the memories earlier, but am glad I have gotten these done.  If you have memories about EMS, or any other subject you want your friends or family to have, write them down or record them somehow.

Things I have learned Part I

Paying for a service is always tough.  People get sick or are injured and need transport to a hospital.  It is assumed that “someone” will take the person to the hospital.  For 50+ years throughout most of the USA that has been an ambulance, sometimes a private service, sometimes a service operated by the local fire department, sometimes an independent ambulance service , and sometimes a hospital service.  It is always assumed that transport will be available and will respond.  And transport happens sometimes by a paid group of responders, sometimes by volunteers, and sometimes a mix of paid and volunteer people.  The big question is who should pay for this transport?  The assumption of most people seems to be “somebody else” the municipality, or the county, or the fire district, or an ambulance district, or the state government.                 When ambulance services first started, most local organizations had to fight for funding to pay for the vehicles and equipment and fuel.  The value of the ambulance and rescue services have become obvious to governing bodies over the years so that bake sales and car washes don’t have to be held so that there will be gasoline in the vehicle the next time a call comes in.  However, an equitable distribution of costs remains an elusive goal,perhaps unobtainable.  Funding always needs to be defended when the county or city or state starts the yearly budget process.

Another thank you

To all those people who have shared their stories, memories, contacts, and memorabilia, a heartfelt thank you.  Your sharing with me has helped keep the memory of you and your contemporaries alive.  The modern EMS system would not have been possible without your efforts.  I am in awe of what folks accomplished with such limited resources when the services began and struggled to survive.

Elwood L Schmidt, MD

Thank you.

Well I said the state was big.  Many of those miles between places have ambulance and rescue responses from volunteers, putting in lots of time to learn what to do, practicing what to do, testing to show they know what to do, and most importantly, doing their Emergency Medical Services duties. The book is a big thank you to all these people in towns and cities, small and large.