Acadian Ambulance founder Richard Zuschlag passes away at 76

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The founder and President of Acadian Ambulance Richard Zuschlag has passed away at 76 after a battle with cancer. The Pennsylvania native moved to Lafayette in 1970 and a year later started Acadian Ambulance with two ambulances. Zuschlag appeared on WRKF’s Talk Louisiana in 2022 and talked about growing Acadian Ambulance into one of the country’s largest privately held medical transportation companies.

“I don’t know how I got to where I’m at now, but there’s an awful lot of people in this State that helped me develop this company. I am so blessed to have such loyal, hardworking employees. The employees are what made our company successful,” Zuschlag said.

Acadian Ambulance is based in Lafayette and has 52-hundred employees, operating in four states. Zuschlag says he could not have grown this company without the help of Acadiana.

“I’m not sure how I got here. At times it’s been difficult, at times it’s been fun. I think it would have been hard for me to start this kind of company in another part of the country. The cajuns, the people in south Louisiana are very loyal, hard-working people,” Zuschlag said.

Zuschlag says Acadiana Ambulance started out by providing private ambulance service to funeral homes in Lafayette. He says it began to take off when they hired several Vietnam War veterans as medics to cover Lafayette Parish.

“We went from the funeral home ambulance service to a more upgraded system where we were actually saving lives. The doctors in Lafayette were very helpful to me. When they saw these Vietnam medics, they gave us standing orders to save lives,” Zuschlag said.

 

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