BELOIT (WIFR) – The Beloit Fire Department is celebrating an important part of its life-saving history.
40 years ago the Beloit Fire Department became the first city in Wisconsin with a population less than 50,000 to have a paramedic program. When it first started the city didn't have enough to fund it so the community raised $39,000 to get the program up and running.
On Saturday they celebrated with an open house so we could see all the gear paramedics use to save our lives.
Terry Carr, one of the first EMT’s in the program 40 years ago says a lot has changed in that time.
"It's unbelievable the leaps and bounds that it’s gone since we were here. You had to manually lift a stretcher into the ambulance. The equipment was heavy, it was awkward and it was just, it was state of the art at the time and now to see the new things it's just unbelievable," he said.
While the paramedic program has only been around for 40 years, the fire department has been around 160 years.