photo of a train

The Savanna Community Ambulance Assocaition





Ambulance Association

The Savanna Community Ambulance Association is a not for profit association that contracts EMS services to both the City of Savanna and the Savanna Fire Protection District.

Savanna Ambulance is licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health as a Paramedic level service, working under the OSF Northern Illinois EMS system (St Anthony Medical Center, Rockford, Illinois).

The service has two ambulances, 1-E-13, is a 2016 Ford/Horton and is licensed at the Paramedic level, and 1-E-15 is a 2000 Ford/Medtec

At this time the Board of Directors consists of:

Charlie Corey, EMT-P

Vice President
Erik Torrison

Secretary - Office Manager
Louise Brouillard, EMT-P

Mona O'Heron

Glen Ron Johnston
Carol (Jackie) Walker
Julie Brigham
William Wright
Alice Riffe-Torrison
Teresa Ross

2016 Attendants Officers

Amy Hubble, EMT-P

Vice President
Ashley Hamilton, EMT-B

Charlie C. Corey, EMT-P

Training Officer
Steph Brown, EMT-P

Infection Control Officer
Louise Brouillard, EMT-P


Brenda Adland, EMT-B

Corinna Bates, EMT-B

Jamie Dykstra, Driver

Duane Ferguson, EMT-B

Erin Foster, EMT-B

Mike Fullick, EMT-P

Harry Grissinger, Driver

Gina Hale, EMT-P

Ann Magill-Hamilton, EMT-B

Shelby Hubble, Driver

Eric Jobin, EMT-B

Ashleigh Kloepping, EMT-B

Jennifer McColley, EMT-B

Rob Murphy, Driver

Shawn Picolotti, Driver

Wendy Popkin, EMT-B

Rhonda Rathje, EMT-B

Tammie Sipes, EMT-B

Ray Skiles, Driver

Becky Sweitzer, EMT-P

Stephanie Whiting, EMT-B

Sandy Wurster, EMT-B

Hired Medics

William Brown, EMT-P

Ashleigh Kloepping, EMT-P

Tom Perrin, EMT-P

Becky Sweitzer, EMT-P


The Savanna Ambulance Attendants training is held the Third Wednesday of the month starting at 1800 hrs, lasting to 2000 hrs, with their business meeting following the training. Any EMT or EMD is welcome to attend our training sessions.

Contact Us
Ambulance Emergency Phone Number: 911
Ambulance Non-Emergency Phone Number: (815) 273-2246

Business Office:
827 Chicago Avenue
Savanna, Illinois 61074

By Appointment 815-273-7002

FAX: (815) 273-3008
E -mail


Savanna Community Ambulance Association Providing Pre-Hospital Emergency Medical Services to the Savanna Community

What is dedication, commitment, and sacrifice? That is what the dedicated people who run our ambulance service and the other thousands of volunteer services across our country do ever day of the week, every week of the year.

Savanna Community Ambulance History

Prior to the late 1960's and the early 1970's pre-hospital care in much of rural America, including Savanna, consisted of the local mortician responding with a hearse converted for ambulance use. In 1966 the National Highway Safety Act put the Department of Transportation in charge of developing an Emergency Medical Service System.

Into the early 1970's the local funeral home in Savanna continued to transport patients. With the new rules and regulations the owners decided to cease operation. The local cab company attempted to run the ambulance service but with ever-changing rules and regulations and reimbursement problems with Medicare and insurance companies, the owners decided it was no longer feasible. On June 1, 1973 the Savanna Fire Department temporarily took over the ambulance service for six months while the city explored other alternatives. H. Lee Riffe and Milo Reed became the first EMT's in Savanna.

In August of 1973 Mayor Don Nehkorn appointed a seven-member board to develop a volunteer ambulance service for the city. At the first meeting of the new board, it was recommended that they add two members from the rural areas and make it a "Community Ambulance Service." To staff the ambulance a volunteer attendants group was formed. This group included Shirley Shore, H. Lee Riffe, John Letcher, Fred Ernest, Jim Ernst, Harry Grissinger, Tom Trader, John (Jason) Shauer, Milo Reed, Don Wolfe, Don Phillips, Al Titsworth, Dave Arno and Charles Corey.

The first ambulance was an old hearse rented from Foster Coach and stored at the fire department. During the first few months the ambulance board actively sold subscriptions to raise money for a new ambulance and equipment. The City of Savanna along with the Ambulance Board applied for a federal grant. In mid December of 1973 the board purchased the first ambulance, a 1973 Dodge Medicruser for $13,500 including all equipment required by the federal government.

After a few years it became evident that the ambulance service needed to be run as a business. One of the board members had done the billing in her home, and then an attendant's wife was paid to do the billing. Mayor Nehkorn provided much needed help when Medicare became more complicated and reimbursements were down. The Mayor suggested utilizing one of the city clerks to do the billing. With the City Clerk Betty Mathew doing the billing, patients knew that they could conduct their business during normal business hours. Financially this was one of the most dramatic changes in our service. Medicare was billed in a timely manner and patients' payments were received more promptly. This demonstrated to the board that we were not just a volunteer service. We were a needed service for the community.

In 1974 Savanna built a new fire station, expanding the space from five vehicle bays to eight, and making room for our ambulance, at this time the fire department added a tanker and another pumper, and the Ambulance Association added another ambulance. It became evident the new station was not large enough for both departments. In the early 1980's the ambulance board started building reserve funds, so we could have our own building.

The Most dramatic change to our ambulance service relating to patient care came in 1988. That is when the attendants decided to upgrade to the intermediate level. We elected to join the Northern Illinois Mobile Intensive Care Program, which is now OSF Northern Illinois EMS, a part of St Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois. The first attendants to go through the intermediate class were Penny Von Essen and Dave Lockhart. The second class was attended by Louise Brouillard, Charles Corey, and Robert Bimm. In 1989 the service decided to upgrade to the Paramedic level, and three of the attendants, Penny Von Essen, Louise Brouillard, and Charles Corey started paramedic school in Elizabeth, Illinois. They received there paramedic license; Louise in March, Penny in April and Charlie in October. Savanna Community Ambulance was the first ambulance service in Carroll County to advance to the paramedic level.

In 1994 we had to move our billing office to a donated office space above the Black Hawk Area Credit Union. Since that office was not handicapped accessible we had to explore other options. In 1995 we purchased our current property and broke ground that fall. Many local volunteers helped with the labor for our new EMS building to help control the cost. The leading one was Steve Mennenga, a local Plumber who donated all his labor to install the plumbing / electrical / heating & air conditioning. In the spring of 1996 we moved into our new ambulance facility. We now have garage space for both of our ambulances, a handicapped accessible billing office and a modern training room.