1901 Brisbane City Ambulance and Transport Brigade
Brisbane ambulance staff with a wheeled litter. Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade was established in 1892. In 1897 the first of the white ponies and sulkies were purchased, but the sulky only provided the means of getting to the place of the accident; the patient was still transported by pushing the litter. - Source: SLQ
1901 Brisbane City Ambulance and Transport Brigade
The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser / Saturday 5 October 1901 / Pages 860, 878
If there is one thing more than another that Brisbane should be proud of, it is her Ambulance Brigade, which is the pioneer one of Australia. Starting in a very small way in 1892, it has made tremendous strides, and has become an absolute necessity. An idea of its progress may be obtained by comparing last year's work with that of the first year. In 1893 there were 400 cases treated, and the mileage covered was 1160, with a revenue of £208 17s 8d. Last year the number of cases was 6586, and the mileage 24,434, whilst the revenue was £3664 7s 4d.
The president of the brigade is the Hon. A. J. Thynne, M.L.C., who has held the position from the start. The brigade is fortunate in possessing a committee who spare neither time nor energy in governing its affairs. It consists of Messrs. J. M. Campbell (chairman), D. F. Denham (hon. treasurer), and Messrs. W. H. Bell, John Greaves, Alexander Corrie, R. Trout, and W. D. Grimes with Mr. R. Nye Stevens as general secretary and superintendent. The brigade is supported by personal contributions, box collections, benefit concerts and sports, subscription lists, transport receipts, and a Government subsidy of £2 for each £1 obtained. It is in a flourishing financial position, and practically owes nothing, possessing a fine brick building which, together with the ground it stands upon, cost £4000. Nearly one-fourth of the revenue apart from the Government subsidy is subscribed by employees of various city firms. The annual sports meeting under the management of Mr. Neville Baldwin has been a very great assistance.
Ambulance officers are pictured with their sulkies drawn by white ponies, and their wheeled litters. - Source: SLQ
The head centre, of the brigade is situated in Wharf Street, a short distance from Queen Street and in a most central position adjacent to the wharfs and the Central Railway Station. It is a brick building fitted out with the most up-to-date appliances, and it is doubtful if it is surpassed in any part of the world. The brigade staff numbers 65 including about (??) honorary members who are of the greatest assistance both at the head centre and branch centres.
When the brigade first entered the present building it was only a shell, and the work of fitting up was entirely done by the members during their spare time. A visitor is at once struck with the disciplined and methodical manner in which the work of the brigade is carried out, the superintendent and his staff leaving nothing to chance. The plant is of the very best and latest description, and the ingenuity displayed in ihe fixings with the object of saving time is marvellous. The head centre possesses four white ponies, three being in active work whilst the fourth spells. The ponies are specially trained and are perfectly docile, and apparently take great interest in their duties, seeming to know every move on the board, and the instant the telephone rings they are on the qui vive. Three men attend each call, viz., a senior bearer, his assistant, and a driver. The senior takes all telephone messages, and if it is a call rings the alarm, at the same time pressing a button which automatically opens the stable door, the pony rushes out of its own accord, taking its place between the shafts of the sulky, the harness, which is suspended, falls into its place and is quickly adjusted by spring clips, instead of the slower buckles, the driver mounts the sulky, the doors, open automatically, and within 12 or 15 seconds after the alarm is given, three men with a sulky and an attached litter are on their way in response, to the call received. On arrival at their destination, the litter is detached from the sulky (which returns to the head centre), and the patient is placed in the litter and conveyed where desired. At night the alarm is connected with the bedrooms, thus making it only necessary for one member to be on active duty. The electric system is most complete and labour-saving, and was installed by members of the brigade. The services of the brigade are immensely appreciated by the general public, medical men, and police, and its motto, 'Ready Always,' is most oppropriate.
The officers of the branches are :—
- South Brisbane Branch centre: Mr. T. W. Taylor;
- Caboolture, hon. bearer D. E. Boustead;
- Nambour, hon. bearer R. B. Dalzell;
- Cairns, hon. bearer H. Miller;
- Townsville: Chairman, A. B. McCready, Esq.; hon. treasurer, J. N. Parkes, Esq. ; superintendent, and secretary, Gus. E. King ; bearers, T. W. McIntyre, A. J. Tyson.
- Charters Towers : Chairman, J. A. Benjamin, Esq.; hon. treasurer, P. J. Allen, Esq.; superintendent and secretary, T. W. Treacy; bearer, J. A. Forsdike.
- Rockhampton : Chairman, H. Johnson, Esq.; hon. treasurer, Hon. C. H. Buzacott; superintendent, W. G. Daniel; secretary, J. F. Batson.
More Ambulance Information
- 1901 Brisbane City Ambulance and Transport Brigade
- 1909 Ambulance by Motor, Brisbane
- 1912 Early Motor Ambulance and Wheeled Stretcher, Brisbane
- 1912 Two-wheeled Hand-drawn Ambulance, Brisbane