CVAC History


The members of the American Legion founded Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corp in 1936. The Ambulances were converted hearses, with little space for treatment. CVAC's first call was reportedly a broken leg in Armonk.

After WW II new members of the Legion took over for the WW I veterans who started the Corps. Through the 60's only Legion members could belong to the Corps. In 1962 there were about 7 active members.


Then Erik Nicolaysen, who is still an active member today, helped a kid who broke his leg outside his office. Several weeks later the legion changed its by-laws to allow non-legion members to join.

The current headquarters was built in the late 40's. In the mid 50"s the legion bought the building and converted it to a garage and a legion hall. In the early 70's CVAC was incorporated and the legion gifted the building.

In 1967 the first EMT program started in New York State and 7 of the 8 CVAC members became certified EMTs.

“When we brought a patient to the medical center we would spend several hours at a minimum while the center decided if they would accept them. At Northern Westchester Hospital there was no emergency room physician, only an on-duty nurse. They had to call in the covering physician, and wait for him to come from his office. CVAC would start treatment while waiting for the doctor to arrive,” explained Erik Nicolaysen.

Pagers came into use in the late 70's and as technology advanced and support of from the community increased, things improved throughout the years. Today, CVAC has about 50 active members.