The AMED Authority is a professional, emergency medical service with headquarters located in Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania. AMED is a non-profit, municipal authority which depends on insurance re-imbursements and membership subscriptions to fund operations. AMED receives no tax money or government funds.

AMED (the Altoona Mobile Emergency Department) was formed in March of 1969 by Altoona and Mercy Hospitals. An ambulance was located at each facility and the hospitals shared the cost of operation. The creation of AMED was a mission by both facilities to improve ambulance service and emergency care in the Altoona area. Before AMED, ambulance service was provided by a variety of business including funeral homes and towing services. This concept of improved emergency medical care in the field was fueled by the success of military medics during wartime missions in Korea and Vietnam. The first AMED paramedics that were trained through this newly developed cutting edge civilian program were predominately corpsmen in the armed forces who saw active duty in very dangerous environments.

1980 fire - ems - police

In July of 1972, AMED’s future was threatened when the National Highway Safety Bureau grant money program, which helped to fund the operation, was ceased. Afraid of loosing the ambulance service, the Altoona Jaycees began a subscription drive with the intent of raising enough money to operate the service for a year. With the support of the community and the effort of the Jaycee’s, they were very successful. The Jaycees continued the annual subscription drive for the next nine years. The tradition is still relied upon today to provide funds for operating costs.

Previous 16th Street headquarters in Altoona, PA

In 1974, a special task force was formed to make recommendations on operations of AMED. The task force had members from Altoona City Council, Altoona and Mercy Hospitals, and the Altoona Jaycees.

In 1980, a recommendation was made to make AMED an independent and self-sufficient entity.

old and new equipment

In 1980, a recommendation was made to make AMED an independent and self-sufficient entity.

In May of 1981, AMED became a joint municipal authority. It was to be overseen by a board of directors with members from Altoona and Mercy Hospitals, Logan Township, and the City of Altoona. AMED moved from the hospitals to a location on 16th Street, where Robert and Nancy Sheetz donated a former Sheetz store.

1981 employees

In 1987, AMED opened a substation in Lakemont. An ambulance was placed at the Lakemont Volunteer Fire Department. The purpose of this substation was to improve coverage and response time to this rapidly growing area of Altoona and Logan Township.

Station 480: Lakemont substation

In 1998, AMED was invited to provide services to the Borough of Tyrone. AMED was welcomed into the Blazing Arrow Hook and Ladder Fire Department. This substation provides services to a vast area including Tyrone, Tyrone and Snyder Townships, Warriors Mark, and parts of Huntingdon, Centre, and Clearfield Counties.

Station 400: Tyrone substation

In December of 2005, AMED moved its headquarters into an existing structure on 7th Avenue. The new facility came with a cost of $1.2 million which included the purchase of the building, remodeling, and the purchase and demolition of adjacent structures. The 11,000 square foot facility is better accommodating for operations and has room for expansion.

Station 430: Current headquarters on 7th Ave


Presently, AMED operates ten ambulances, five wheelchair vans, one mass casualty trailer, and one command vehicle. AMED employs 62 EMT’s and Paramedics. In 2005, AMED responded to 10,944 incidents. AMED also provides professional EMS coverage for special events, visits schools to educate children about emergencies, and participates in community activities such as health fairs and community wellness programs.

Left: old patch;

Below: new patches


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