"We have grown... because we provide the best service, with the best equipment, and the best people!"
In November of 1973, Rick Zehetner founded a new private ambulance service on Milwaukee’s Northwest side, along with two partners. Due to Rick’s knowledge and experience, the new ambulance service was immediately successful.
During 1975 there was much discussion in the community as to what direction the City of Milwaukee should take regarding provision of ambulance service. Because of the new Federal ambulance standards, the old Police ambulance had to go. In October Rick proposed that the City certify and regulate private ambulance service providers so that they could participate in the City’s new EMS system. The proposal called for the Milwaukee Fire Department Rescue Squads and engine companies to be first responders, calling in the certified private ambulance service to make the conveyance.
On January 1st, 1976 Rick and his partners bought a competitor, Bell Ambulance, and ran it as a separate business on the Southwest side of Milwaukee.
During 1976 and 1977 Rick had a series of meetings with Milwaukee Health Commissioner Dr. Constantine Panagis and Common Council President John Kalwitz to discuss private ambulance participation in the City EMS System. They liked his plan, and recommended it to the Common Council and to Mayor Henry Maier.
On January 1st, 1977 Rick bought his partners’ interest in Bell Ambulance, and became the sole owner. Bell had a rented station and an office at 57th and National Avenue; our fleet consisted of three new Dodge van ambulances!
In the fall of 1977, Rick’s idea for the Milwaukee EMS System was adopted by City ordinance. On January 1st, 1978, the new Milwaukee EMS System with Private Ambulance Participation became effective, with Bell Ambulance as one of the inaugural certified participants.
Since then... We have grown by working closely with The Milwaukee Fire Department to provide high-quality, efficient, and cost-effective EMS service to the residents of Milwaukee!
Since then… We have grown from rented quarters on the Southwest side, to 10 modern locations in Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Racine Counties. Bell Station #3, at Vel R. Phillips Avenue and Walnut Street in Milwaukee is the largest ambulance station in Wisconsin, with a capacity of 24 ambulances.
Since then… We have grown from three van ambulances to a fleet of 80 late model ambulances, all custom designed and built to our specifications.
Since then… We have grown from doing mostly non-emergency transports to providing BLS emergency and non-emergency 911 and private ambulance transports; to providing ALS Paramedic emergency and non-emergency transports; to providing service to the Children’s Wisconsin Critical Care Transport Team; to becoming the largest Critical Care Paramedic transport service in the state!
Since then… We have grown from one dispatcher to as many as 10 on duty at once. Our dispatchers have been certified and accredited as EMDs by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch.
Since then… We have grown to become the largest ambulance provider in the State of Wisconsin, with more than 600 employees, answering more than 110,000 calls for ambulance service each year.
We have grown... because we strive to exceed every client’s expectations.
We have grown… because we treat our people with respect, appreciation, and fairness.
We have grown... because we provide the best service, with the best equipment, and the best people!