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Fallon Ambulance of Quincy marks 90th anniversary

Fallon Ambulance employees marked the company’s anniversary last week.

Fallon Ambulance employees marked the company’s anniversary last week.

NINETY YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Ninety years ago, ambulances were pretty much limousines, mainly transporting patients to and from hospitals, with no medical attention provided.

Today, an ambulance worker at minimum must be a certified emergency medical technician, with many also becoming paramedics, said Weymouth resident Peter Racicot, senior vice president at Quincy-based Fallon Ambulance, a third-generation business that recently marked its 90th anniversary.

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“It was only around 1975 that you had to be an EMT,” said Racicot, who has worked for Fallon for 28 years and whose brother, company vice president Norman Racicot of Weymouth, has been with the company for 26 years. “Ambulance response then was to put a bandage on, maybe provide oxygen, and get the patient to a hospital.”

With modern regulations, he said, “now you have two paramedics on the scene of an emergency, they can run a cardiac monitor, administer intravenous medication. It’s far, far different than it used to be.”

Diane Hunt with a plaque honoring her son William, at Sacred Heart.

Fallon celebrated its anniversary last Tuesday in Milton at Steel & Rye, in a building that, before it was converted into a restaurant, had served as Fallon Ambulance headquarters for many years. Fallon provides ambulance service to Quincy, Milton, Braintree, Weymouth, Dedham, and Brookline, and moved to Quincy in 2005.

The company was started as a limousine and ambulance business in 1923 by James R. Fallon, who later turned over the reins to his son, Ray Fallon. It is now run by the founder’s grandson, Timothy Fallon, and employs about 600 people with 250 vehicles.

At the anniversary celebration, 31 longtime employees were honored, including John Rzasa of Hanson, who has worked for Fallon for 48 years. His son, Jonathan Rzasa of Plymouth, has worked there 23 years.

The elder Rzasa got into the business when “the only training required was a first-aid card, which he earned through the Boy Scouts,” Peter Racicot said.

With longevity comes stories, he said. John Rzasa once drove Sunny von Bulow from Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston to New York City. She was the wife of Claus von Bulow, who was accused of trying to kill her, a case made famous in the book and movie “Reversal of Fortune.”

Rzasa has also been on call for then-vice president George H.W. Bush when he visited New England, and in 1965 was on call for Queen Elizabeth’s trip to Boston on the Britannia.

“In a society where most people statistically work for seven different employers during their careers,” said Timothy Fallon, “we are very fortunate to have more than 30 with more than at least two decades of experience with us.”

SACRED HEART DEDICATES FIELD: Not only is the football team at Sacred Heart High School new, so is its field — and the name adorning it. The Kingston school recently held its annual homecoming festivities, which including naming the field for William Christopher Hunt, class of 1987, who was killed on Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Towers in New York City. He was also a standout athlete at Sacred Heart, school officials said.

The dedication took place at the field’s 50-yard line in front of a new sign naming the field in Hunt’s honor. The day also marked the school’s first-ever home football game. The school’s football program began this fall with a freshman team.

Hunt family members received autographed team footballs at the dedication. And for the record, the Saints won the game, 30-15, over Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School.

STUDENT WINS FOR ESSAY: Katherine Rice, a 2013 graduate of Pembroke High School, and Kelly Geddes, a graduate of Hanover High School, were each awarded a $500 scholarship from Hanover-based law firm Epstein, Lipsey & Clifford for their essays addressing the question, “Are There Limits on Freedom of Speech?”

The essays showed an “understanding of the legal definition of freedom of speech and how that freedom has been interpreted in the year 2013,” Bruce Lipsey, a principal at the law firm, said in a press release. Rice and Geddes plan to pursue careers in the legal field.

The firm solicits about 10 essays from each school for the contest, with attorneys picking the winners.

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Marcilio Silva of Westport has joined Acella Construction in Norwell as a project superintendent, supervising site crews, scheduling inspections, managing weekly schedules and deadlines, and enforcing federal safety regulations.

Dieter H. Gartner of Cohasset was named an associate with JACA Architects in Quincy. He will assist with health care architecture and design. Gartner came to the company after 21 years at Payette in Boston, and a shorter affiliation with Perkins & Will.

Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at
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