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Services held for Richard Zuschlag, founder of Acadian Ambulance and philanthropist

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Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 12, 2024

LAFAYETTE PARISH — Funeral services were held for Acadian Ambulance founder and philanthropist Richard Zuschlag. He died at 76-years-old due to cancer-related complications.

Zuschlag was a Pennsylvania native, but made Lafayette his home. "That's why Acadian was founded here. He often said that if it would have been started somewhere else it wouldn't have been successful because he truly loved the Acadian culture, the family atmosphere, the devotion, and he had a tremendous love for Acadiana and it's great that Acadiana has loved him back," said Randall Mann, Acadian Ambulance Public Relations. The love shown by Acadiana was evident as the church was filled with hundreds of people who attended service to pay their final respects.

Acadian Ambulance was founded by Zuschlag and two of his friends in 1971 in Lafayette Parish with just two ambulances and eight medics. It has now grown to be the national leader in the field of pre-hospital emergency medical care. "I was thinking in the service how lucky we were in Lafayette that he came here and stayed here and fell in love with this community because his impact on the way we care for people when they're sick, when they're dying really was set in place many, many years ago when he started this company," said Monique Boulet, Lafayette Mayor-President.

Senator Gerald Boudreaux called Zuschlag an inspiration, "We never get tired, we never know what tomorrow will bring so let's take care of business today and that's who Richard Zuschlag was."

Zuschlag will forever be remembered for his service to the Acadiana community and beyond. "I often talked to Richard about what I call the ripple effect. I mean we've transported over 20 million patients so I think of those 20 million, their families, and that ripple. We've had over 35,000 employees in our 53 years and he blessed so many of us with wonderful careers and that ripple effect. How many kids went to college, how many houses were bought and then he was so philanthropic. He was really a true man of impact in our community."

Zuschlag was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery in Lafayette.