Acadian Ambulance Service was founded by three young entrepreneurs on September 1, 1971, with two ambulances and eight medics, serving Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Today, September 1, 2016, marks Acadian’s 45th anniversary.

Richard Zuschlag, Richard Sturlese and Roland Dugas recognized a need for an ambulance service at a time when funeral homes stopped providing ambulance transportation due to new federal regulations.

Today, Chairman & CEO Richard Zuschlag leads one of the nation’s largest privately owned ambulance companies. Acadian has more than 4,300 employees, 500 ambulances, six medical helicopters and five airplanes, and serves a population of more than 20 million residents in 34 Louisiana parishes, 37 Texas counties and Jackson County, Mississippi.

“From the start, we were committed to providing the best possible patient care and customer service,” said Zuschlag, also celebrating his anniversary with the company this year. “As we grew, our reputation as a leader in medical transportation began to build.”

In the past 45 years, Acadian Ambulance has expanded to become six divisions, including Acadian Air Med, Acadian Total Security, National EMS Academy, Safety Management Systems and Executive Aircraft Charter Service.

“The founding and success of Acadian Ambulance has allowed us to organically expand our business’ footprint. Through each of our six divisions, we are proud to have become leaders in the medical, transportation, education, security and safety industries,” said Zuschlag.

The combined performance of Acadian’s six divisions have helped to propel the company to the top of Lafayette business publication ABiz’s Acadiana’s Top 50 Private Companies list for 2016.

Acadian has remained a private company with the adoption of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1993, one of their most significant milestones.“I’m so proud of our ESOP and the fact that it lets our team members share in what their company has achieved. We want to do the best for our employees, patients, customers, and community, and I’m extremely thankful to everyone for helping to make this company so much more successful than anything I ever dreamed,” Zuschlag said.

In addition, Acadian Air Med is celebrating their 35th anniversary, Executive Aircraft Charter Service recognizes 25 years of service, and Acadian Ambulance’s Texas operations reached 10 years. In addition to being the largest privately owned company in Acadiana, Acadian is also the largest privately owned ambulance service in Louisiana and Texas.

Acadian Ambulance has earned and maintained accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services, the gold standard in emergency medical transportation.