TCA began as a two-ambulance, four-employee operation in 1955. A year later, a 24 year old part-time TCA employee and full-time factory worker named Gerald Clark cashed in his savings account, borrowed money from his parents, and, with the help of a friend, purchased the company. Gerry's family still owns the company today.
In exchange for his original $18,000 investment, Gerry received two ten year- old ambulances and the use of an eight foot by six foot room at DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda, which became TCA's headquarters. Gerry and his three employees worked twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week to staff ambulances and keep the company running. In those days, TCA responded to less than 100 calls per year.
In the early days there was little medical training. In fact, when Gerry talks about the good old days of ambulance service he says, we were little more than horizontal taxis. As the industry evolved, and with Gerry's
urging, local training became more standardized. In the late sixties Gerry became one of the first EMTs in the Western New York area.
The standard of care continued to improve through the years and, in 1985, TCA went online with its first paramedics. Later that year, at age 54, Gerry enrolled in paramedic school. In spite of the fact that he never graduated from high school, Gerry worked hard, graduated, and became a paramedic. When asked why he became a paramedic, Gerry says, "Because I wanted to understand first-hand what paramedics do. I could not have run the business properly without that understanding." Gerry continued to work the ambulance well into his sixties.
Until his passing on December 8 2013, Gerry continued to serve as our Chairman of the Board.