Years ago, it was a common practice for funeral homes to also have an ambulance service. As far back as the early 1900s, a funeral home hearse or ambulance would transport people to emergency rooms. Hearses were well suited for carrying a person quickly, comfortably, and horizontally. Also, the vehicles were large enough to accommodate long stretchers and most funeral homes were already on-call 24 hours a day. These ambulances saved countless lives that would have otherwise been lost by fulfilling a vital function. In the 1960s, over half of America’s ambulances were not vehicles made specifically for the care and transport of patients. Instead, they were hearses, station wagons, vans, or trucks.
The Vietnam War led to significant progress in trauma research and treatment. The conflict also demonstrated that well-trained non-physicians could save lives. In 1966, Medicare regulations required ambulances to contain personnel trained in Advanced First Aid by the Red Cross. A new federal law was put into place regulating the pay of ambulance attendants. Consequently, many funeral homes could not earn enough money from transporting patients to maintain ambulance services. Because of these and other reasons, many funeral homes began to retire from the ambulance business. They turned the services over to hospitals, city fire departments, county governments, and private and volunteer ambulance operators.
As the community grew, other funeral homes opened, and with it came competition for business. Eventually, the funeral director began having health problems, and coupled with all the competition, he could hardly keep the funeral home afloat. The funeral home closed permanently around 2010. A competing funeral home purchased the business and reopened it under a new name. Soon after, the new owners shuttered the building and vacated the property. For more than a decade, the building has sat idle. The funeral home has a chapel, two offices, two visitation rooms, a casket display room, and an embalming room. The owners left so much behind including hearses and limos, caskets, and stacks of death certificates dating back more than 50 years. As of 2022, the property remains abandoned.
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Interesting,I enjoy your blog, keep going.
Blessings, * *Sally Johnson
I wish I could find places like this ! The buildings I find and go into have nothing worth finding usually all damaged stuff !!
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WOW. Such a bad loss of very useable things….
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I live reading your blog.keep up the great work.