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Proud to Serve: Aetna Ambulance seven decades of service

HARTFORD – They have been answering the call for over 75 years in the Capital City. Aetna Ambulance began as a florist, it was only right after the Hartford Cir...

HARTFORD – They have been answering the call for over 75 years in the Capital City.

Aetna Ambulance began as a florist, it was only right after the Hartford Circus Fire in the 1940’s that the ambulance corps was formed by the Grady brothers and their wives.

“There was a need to transport patients (after the circus fire),“ said Matt Martinelli a captain and operations supervisor at Aetna Ambulance.

Showcasing pictures on the walls at the Aetna Ambulance offices off Van Block street in Hartford, Bob Mara, the director of business development at Aetna Ambulance and a lieutenant on the job, noted that the Grady brothers were ground breaking in their field.

Mara proudly said, “Aetna Ambulance was the first African American owned service in Hartford at the time.”

Since their humble beginnings more than seven decades ago, Aetna Ambulance has grown to 25 ambulances that roam the roads of Hartford, Rocky Hill, and Wethersfield and respond to around 30,000 911 calls per year.

“The best part of this business is to be there for someone,” Martinelli said. Mara added, “the best part of this job is just to help people.”