In the beginning, emergency medical calls in Amsterdam were cared for by seven area funeral directors. In 1966, New York State mandated that ambulances be staffed by only trained and certified technicians by 1967. Due to the limited manpower and rising costs, six of the funeral directors discontinued their services. Seeing the need to provide service to the people of Amsterdam, Reverend Donald Jansen, Pastor of the Forest Avenue Methodist Church called for a meeting of interested and concerned citizens. After the meeting, a new agency was formed. To enable this agency to be in service, two used ambulances and necessary equipment were required. This task was monumental.

In a span of three weeks, surrounded with dedicated men and women, the Reverend Jansen went door to door raising funds. When the hard work was completed, $33,500 was raised to purchase the new equipment. 

At 11:50 p.m. on December 31, 1966 the initial crew of Mrs. Jane Ahrens, Raymond Colinas and Reverend Donald Jansen, answered the first of many calls to come. In the first year, GAVAC gave aid to 1,368 patients answering 1,434 calls and traveling over 22,427 miles.

Today GAVAC answers over 9,000 calls annually, responding from four different stations located throughout Montgomery County, and travels over 350,000 miles annually. The agency now serves as the largest emergency medical service provider in Montgomery County and the AAREMS Medical Region. In addition, GAVAC has nationally registered / state certified paramedics, Specialty Care Paramedics, and a group of dedicated personnel ranging from critical care technicians, emergency medical technicians, to Registered nurses, respiratory therapists, attendants and drivers.


  • 1966
    GAVAC’s 1st Call: At 11:50 p.m. on December 31, 1966 the initial crew of Mrs. Jane Ahrens, Raymond Colinas and Reverend Donald Jansen, answered the first of many calls to come.
  • 1969
    After raising an additional $50,000, the current GAVAC building in Amsterdam was opened to keep pace with the community needs.
  • 2007
    GAVAC becomes County-wide Ambulance services as the service area grows with the acquisition of the Fonda Fultonville Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
  • 2014
    Construction of the Fort Plain Station at 25 Hancock St. allowing GAVAC to provide faster response times to the Fort Plain and Canajoharie areas and along Route 5S.
  • 2019
    GAVAC responds to community need to serve Fulton and Hamilton counties - doubling in size. 
  • 2021
    GAVAC rebrands as Lake Valley EMS to more equally represent its regional service mission to a tri-state region 
    Lake  Valley EMS transports approximately 20,000 patients annually with more than 20 ambulances in our fleet.

Corporate Values

Trust built with communities, medical facility partners, patients and employees is at the heart of our company. We build that trust by infusing into every aspect our core values of S.A.F.E – Safe. Accountable. Friendly. Efficient. When we deliver on our core values, our customers experience the key attributes of service and quality care that present as our employees being professional, courteous and on-time. The consistent delivery of this service over time builds the trust of our community members and customers that is essential to our success as a member of the Priority Ambulance family of companies.



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Meet the Priority Ambulance Family of Companies

For three consecutive years, the Priority Ambulance family of
companies has earned a ranking on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in America. We’re proud to be counted among the nation’s top growers, achieving three-year revenue growth of 184% to qualify for the 2019 ranking period. Only one in four companies that make the Inc. 5000 list are recognized multiple years. We are honored and will continue to pursue growth through exceptional service delivery and patient care for years to come.

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