Prior to the late 1960s, ambulance calls were responded to by local funeral services. With minimal basic first aid provided on scene, patients were loaded into the hearse ambulance and transported quickly as possible to the hospital. With federal regulations changing, funeral homes began to phase out this service in the late sixties and early seventies.
March 1, 1967 the Russellville-Pope County Ambulance Service was formed as a joint venture between the city of Russellville and Pope County. Instrumental leaders in this joint venture were Russellville Mayor C.A. Hughes and Pope County Judge Wayne Nordin. Two hearse ambulances were donated by Gardner and Shinn and Son Funeral Services. Raymond Dale Bradley and Bobby Haulmark were the first two ambulance employees hired. Dewey Mallet was hired soon after and later became the director of the service.
The two hearse ambulances were housed at the rear of the Russellville fire station for a few years with firemen and policemen running with the ambulance when needed. In 1970 the ambulance service moves to a different location at 501 West Fourth Street for more room and plans of expanding staff. A new phone number 968-4567 was established and used for requesting an ambulance. This number is still in use today as a non-emergent ambulance request line.
In 1971 the Russellville-Pope County Ambulance Service became the Pope County Ambulance Service, owned and operated by Pope County. In January of 1972 the ambulance service moves its headquarters to 205 West C Street due to the need of better garage and office facilities. In 1974 the ambulance service receives its first new facility at 511 West Main. Equipped with four bays and more space for crews and office staff, it was quoted as possibly one of the best in the state at the time.
January 1, 1982 Ormond W. Peters a paramedic with Pope County Emergency Medical Services becomes director of the service following the resignation of then director Dewey Mallet. The county complex located on Weir Road was completed in 1982 and the Pope County Emergency Medical Service moves into its current headquarters at 3 County Complex Circle.
Today Pope County Emergency Medical Services headquarters remains at the county complex with four additional sub-stations. One located in Dover, Atkins, and two in Russellville. Pope County EMS is an advanced life support (ALS) licensed service with eleven ambulances, two rescue vehicles, two patient carrying utility terrain vehicles, two mass casualty trailers, and four staff vehicles. We serve all residents and visitors of Pope County by providing reliable and compassionate healthcare services, both emergent and non-emergent.