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Founded in 1948 by Kenny Riggs, Riggs Ambulance Service has proudly served Merced county continuously for over 60 years.


The family culture that Kenny began continues today although the organization has grown considerably since then. Unlike many companies that lose their focus on their cultural roots over time, RAS strongly embraces the importance of individual relationships within the organization with all employees of our RAS family. We are equally committed to our relationships with our external customers; our patients, the community, co-responders and allied healthcare professionals. To this end, the small-company, family-oriented feeling of RAS endures and is the cornerstone of our company culture.

1945 - Kenneth Albert Riggs moved to Merced and operated an Exxon gas station located next door to a funeral home. At that time, mortuaries utilized a hearse as an ambulance. No other services were available and no training was required by the mortuary staff. Having received Advanced First Aid training in the Merchant Marines, Ken would drive the "ambulance" when the mortuary staff was busy. After three years of working both the gas station and ambulance, Ken bought the Merced-Mariposa Ambulance Service

1948 - A 1948 Packard and a 1948 Cadillac were the first ambulances. Riggs provided service from Mariposa on the east to Hollister on the west as there were very few ambulance services available. Riggs became the first ambulance service in California to stock oxygen onboard. Ken Riggs joined the California Ambulance Association as a charter member.

1949 - Ken required Advanced First Aid training for everyone working on the ambulances.

1952 - Ambulances were placed in Los Banos and Gustine to better serve the community.

1955 - Ken is appointed County Coroner, Public Administrator and Public Guardian, positions he held until 1982. Ken held the Coroner's position longer than anyone in California history.

1968 - Riggs Ambulance Service provides an Advanced Course in Emergency Care under the auspices of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Ken is appointed to the National Highway Traffic Safety Advisory Board by President Lyndon B. Johnson. 

1974 - Riggs Ambulance Service requires emergency Medical Technician
certification of its personnel. This is prior to the mandated implementation date of 1976.

Ken Riggs is appointed to the Committee of Emergency Medical Services by President Gerald Ford. This committee was responsible for the implementation of the medial network radio frequencies we currently use today!

1980 - Ken Riggs hands the business off to his son Kraig who served as President and CEO until 2014

1985 - Kraig Riggs requires Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic certification for an all ALS service.

2003 - Our Tactical EMS team began operations assisting local law enforcement agencies throughout Merced County.

RAS enters into an exclusive operating agreement with Merced County to provide medical transportation to all of Merced County.

2010 - RAS was awarded accreditation by the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services. Our current accreditation extends through April 30, 2022.

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2013 - Our logo changed to reflect the full name of the company and incorporate the image of EMS

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2015 - Purchased by Sierra Medical Services Alliance (SEMSA)

2013 - The Pulse Point program is adopted by Merced County EMS Responders.

2015 - In a partnership with AirMethods Corporation, SEMSA begins Critical Care Air Service in Merced County.

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2020 - Riggs Ambulance wins the RFP process conducted by Merced County EMS.  Providing non-interrupted service for over 72 years.

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