A HISTORY OF THE AMBULANCE

Merseyside Ambulances

Reginald Harrison (President of the Liverpool Medical Institution in 1880) worked for the establishment of Liverpool's horse-drawn ambulance service, which was eventually set up in 1884 based at the Northern Hospital.

The success of the scheme soon led to ambulances based at other hospitals in the area.

The horse-drawn ambulance of Bootle Borough Hospital, circa 1898-9.

A horse-drawn ambulance leaving the stables of Liverpool Royal Infirmary, 1890.

Images courtesy of the Chambré Hardman Archive.

In 1886 an Ambulance Wagon was presented by one friend and a horse by another, and a fund was instituted and liberally subscribed to for maintenance purposes. This enabled the new Ambulance Department to commence work in 1887.

 

The horse was always in readiness, a slip-harness being arranged which enabled it to get out within a very few minutes of being summoned. The driver was in close attendance and one of the residents was at call to accompany it. At first the wheels had plain iron rims but, in 1880 a friend provided rubber tyres which added materially to the comfort of the patients.

The number of calls attended to naturally varied from year to year in a range between 344 to 490. By 1889 the calls had increased so considerably that it became necessary to appoint two ambulance officers, and up to this period 44,175 cases had been attended to.

In 1886 an Ambulance Wagon was presented by one friend and a horse by another, and a fund was instituted and liberally subscribed to for maintenance purposes. This enabled the new Ambulance Department to commence work in 1887.

 

The horse was always in readiness, a slip-harness being arranged which enabled it to get out within a very few minutes of being summoned. The driver was in close attendance and one of the residents was at call to accompany it. At first the wheels had plain iron rims but, in 1880 a friend provided rubber tyres which added materially to the comfort of the patients.

The number of calls attended to naturally varied from year to year in a range between 344 to 490. By 1889 the calls had increased so considerably that it became necessary to appoint two ambulance officers, and up to this period 44,175 cases had been attended to.

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