Quincy-based Fallon Ambulance Service was founded in 1923 by James R. Fallon Sr. as a limousine and ambulance business. The company marked its 90th anniversary last year, and has grown into an operation employing nearly 650 people, with a fleet of 102 ambulances, and 36 wheelchair vans and multipassenger vehicles. It is now run by Timothy J. Fallon, grandson of the founder, and his stepbrothers, vice president Normand Racicot and senior vice president Peter Racicot. Peter Racicot was interviewed for this story.
Q. How big is your service
A. We have all of the South Shore, Boston, and out to Framingham. We just won the bid to provide service for MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham (which includes Framingham Union Hospital and Leonard Memorial Hospital in Natick). And with that, we’ve just opened a satellite location in Ashland.
Q. What are the challenges facing your industry?
A. For many years now, it’s reduced reimbursements, without question. Hospitals are getting bigger and reimbursements are getting smaller. There’s more competition, and our opportunities are down about 25 percent. Meanwhile, our employees need more money, so we have the battle of upward expenses with downward revenue.
Q. Yours is a third-generation family business. Will there be a fourth?
A. We don’t know yet. Our leadership is all family. We have several family members in billing, we have nieces and nephews as paramedics, some running wheelchair vans. So there is a fourth generation of younger people. Timmy and I talk about the future, I’m 48, he’s 52, so we see it as a way to go before we really start thinking of a fourth generation taking over.
Q. What are the rewards of your business?
A. At the end of the day, the big part of our business is getting patients from point A to point B, and helping them when they’re going through the worst possible time in their lives. I get calls all the time from people. A woman called the other day; her dad had gone into cardiac arrest and unfortunately died, but she just wanted to say thanks. She said we made every effort. You hear things like that, it brings you back to why you’re really here, that you do play a positive role. And we love doing charitable things. We recently took a Rockland family to Logan for a “Dream Come True” trip sponsored by the Weymouth Lodge of Elks. We do a lot of things like that, things we don’t have to do, but want to.
Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at pkandarian@ aol.com.