Little Bits of History

April 18

Posted in History by patriciahysell on April 18, 2017

1899: Queen Victoria grants a Royal Charter to St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association. Today, known as St Andrew’s First Aid, it was Scotland’s first ambulance service and founded in 1882. Their national headquarters are located in Glasgow. They teach first aid, supply the equipment needed to offer quality first aid in emergencies, and train and staff their ambulance service with volunteers. They are overseen by a Board of trustees who are elected each year and delegate power to a variety of other entities concerned with providing first aid to the sick and injured.

They offer a variety of first aid classes lasting from just a couple hours to an all inclusive basic first aid class which is offered over 24 hours and cover many aspects of first aid required in a number of situations. They offer classes to junior (children under the age of 15) and have a course designed to help those injured while playing sports. Courses and classes are available individually or via the workplace. Within St Andrew’s itself are many further educational aspects covered for their volunteer staff. They constantly update their teaching and bring in the newest technologies available to medical personnel. They are also trained in the administrative side of patient care such as leadership and radio control issues.

St Andrew’s was first formed by a group of local doctors and businessmen in Glasgow. There had been an increase in accidents due to traffic and modern machinery. Getting the injured from the scene and to the hospital became an issue. Within four years, the group had six ambulances stationed in towns throughout Scotland. To keep all volunteers up to speed, they published a Dr. George T Beatson’s Ambulance Hand-Book which helped those in the field with direct patient care as first responders. The book was used for over 40 years, updated and republished. Two major changes to the original concern were the Royal Charter granted on this day and the bringing together of several smaller entities under one umbrella, the St Andrew’s Ambulance Corps in 1904.

Within 48 hours of World War I being declared, the Corps was able to staff all of Scotland’s military hospitals which allowed regular staff to perform at a higher level. They also were able to send people overseas to help. Between the Wars, they were able to upgrade services and expand operations when the British Red Cross Society was able to give them motorized ambulances no longer needed by the military. They were again brought into major service during World War II and helped with many aspects of health care and preparation for disasters. Their name changed in 2006 to St Andrew’s First Aid and in 2010 their national headquarters were given a massive refurbishment.

The only times I’m consistent about praying are when I’m on an airplane or when an ambulance goes by. – China Chow

I’m a praying atheist. When I hear an ambulance siren, I ask for a blessing for those people in trouble, knowing that no one’s listening. I think it’s just a habit of mindfulness. – Geraldine Brooks

I don’t think my wife likes me very much, when I had a heart attack she wrote for an ambulance. – Frank Carson

We must be part of the general staff at the inception, rather than the ambulance drivers at the bitter end. – Lane Kirkland