This past June 1, 2019, the River Edge Volunteer Ambulance Service (REVAS) celebrated its 70th anniversary. On June 1, 1949, eighteen active members of the community officially reported for duty, providing ambulance service to the local hospitals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The current REVAS membership is proud to report that tradition has remained intact and with the help of the community will continue.
In 1948, the population of River Edge was about 9,000 citizens and ambulance or emergency transportation was provided by the police, an ambulance from Hackensack Hospital or the New Milford Volunteer Ambulance Corp. In September of 1948, then Mayor F. Walton Wanner sent a letter to George Boyd and 13 others inviting them to meet and discuss the formation of River Edge’s own ambulance service. Within nine months the REVAS organization was formed. A staff was trained and funds were raised from the community. An ambulance was purchased which allowed REVAS to start operations on June 1, 1949.
Much has changed in the 70 years: uniforms, staffing, equipment and training. What has not changed has been the dedication of the staff to provide the best service to the community that they can on any given day.
Throughout its history, REVAS has responded to over an average of 700 calls a year, most have been emergency transportation to area hospitals. They have had calls for: child births, CPR, overdoses, motor vehicle accidents, natural and manmade disasters and fire calls. Previously the organization has been recognized by then governor Jim Florio, and the New Jersey Senate for their participation and assistance in the after math of the World Trade Center Bombing on February 26, 1993. In addition, REVAS was recognized by the Jersey City Medical Center for it participation in providing Emergency Medical assistance in the bombing of the Twin Towers on September 1, 2001. During both incidents REVAS answered a call for equipment and staff to stage near the events to provide transportation and emergency medical assistance. REVAS also participates with neighboring towns to provide Mutual Aid in the event there is a need for additional help.
From its inception, REVAS has had two major concerns. Its first concern is volunteers from the community who are willing to train and give their time to help other members of the community. The second concern is funding to maintain the organization. REVAS is funded by community support as it has been for the past 70 years, through an annual fund drive. REVAS does not bill for their services. These issues have been and continue to be a concern for the organization.
New volunteers are encouraged and needed. If you are interested, please contact Captain Ron Silvestri at 201-261-8094, email REVAS at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit us at (www.REVAS.org) or on our Facebook page (River Edge Volunteer Ambulance Service).
The River Edge Volunteer Ambulance Service is a fully volunteer nonprofit corporation providing Basic Life Support services to the residents of River Edge. It is a non-profit 501(3) (c) corporation supported by donations.
Pictured: REVAS’s first ambulance – A 1948 Cadillac 8 cylinder, 39 Horse Power, Grey Ambulance
Pictured: REVAS’s Ambulance 58 - A 2015 Chevrolet Truck chassis with a customized ambulance body. One of the two ambulances currently used by REVAS to answer 911 calls.