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Australian History

Monday, September 12, 1892. :   Ambulance services commence in Queensland, Australia, the first such service anywhere in the world.

     The Queensland Ambulance Service in its current form was established on 1 July 1991, with the amalgamation of 96 individual Queensland Ambulance Service Transport Brigades (QATB). However, Queensland’s first ambulance service began operations almost a century earlier.

The need for an ambulance service in Queensland became apparent following an incident at the Brisbane Show in August of 1892. Stories vary, but the common element is that a rider fell from his horse and broke his leg at the showgrounds. The injury was either exacerbated when helpful bystanders assisted the rider, walking him from the field or, according to other accounts, when first aid personnel rushed onto the field and threw the man into a stretcher before bundling him off the field without due care for his condition. Witnessing the event was Military medic Seymour Warrian of the Army Medical Corps. Seeing how the victim should have been immobilised, Warrian canvassed support to form the new City Ambulance Transport Brigade, or CATB.

The first meeting of the brigade was held on 12 September 1892. Operations of Queensland’s first ambulance station were initially conducted from the Brisbane Newspaper Company. Officers on night duty spent the night on rolls of newspaper on the floor rather than beds. Transportation of victims was limited to being on foot as, while there was a stretcher, there was no vehicle. As donations flowed in, more equipment was able to be purchased. After first aid kits were put together, one of the first major changes was a stretcher attached to a set of cart wheels, which could then be conveyed by two men at a running pace. Later, the first horse with harness for a cart was purchased.

Warrian's vision of a professional ambulance service was innovative and the service was the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Soon other cities, both in Australia and around the world, followed suit.


Today in History

Thought For Today
... and he chose capable men from among all the Israelites. He appointed them as leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.
Exodus 18:25 (c) GNB
It's a hard thing to trust others with your work - but you must do it to expand your horizons.

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