On January 24, 1974 Pat Petricka was appointed project director for the newly formed ambulance committee by the city council. The council authorized the paperwork that later lead to a grant to purchase the first new ambulance for the City of River Falls in January 1975. Numerous meetings were held with the Rural Towns to discuss the feasibility of purchasing an ambulance to serve the area.

Until the first ambulance for the City of River Falls could be purchased, the city borrowed an International Travel All Ambulance from Woodville, WI. Being EMS was fairly new to begin with in general, the service only operated with the bare necessities.
A State Assembly Bill was passed in March 1974 requiring licensing of ambulance attendants. EMT training programs were then born.

The first Ambulance Director was Jim Helminiak who was instructed to immediately recruit and train an ambulance crew in first aid and rescue.
In January 1975, the first River Falls Ambulance was ordered at a cost of $15, 175. It was a van type ambulance. Additional equipment for the ambulance was also purchased at a cost of $1,400.
Being a new service, money was scarce, but equipment was still needed to equip the ambulance. Thanks to local clubs, organizations and personal donations, the service was able to purchase all the equipment it needed at the time.

Pat Petricka started out on the Ambulance Commission and later moved to Service Director. He served as Director from 1978-1988. Pat died of a massive heart attack in 1990. He was transported to the hospital during his heart attack by his own ambulance service, River Falls Ambulance.

Pat Petricka, EMT/Service Director



End of Service: 1990


EMS Services: ​River Falls Area Amblance Service

Active Duty Death

Association, Inc.

Wisconsin EMS Honor Guard