The Ambulance

A History


In stock

About the Book

Over several centuries the ambulance has evolved from horse-drawn wagons designed to remove wounded soldiers from the battlefield into high-speed emergency rooms on wheels, staffed by skilled professionals. This thorough history follows the ambulance through every phase, focusing not just on the vehicles but on their role within the developing medical systems they served, as well as the political, social and economic influences that have shaped their advancement.
Topics include the critical role of police ambulances in the development of the first emergency medical services, the history of the ambulance intern, breakthroughs in ambulance design and function from the horse-drawn days to the present, notable women in ambulance development, and a fresh look at the first organized paramedic services. More than 275 photographs and other illustrations accompany the text.

About the Author(s)

Ryan Corbett Bell, a psychiatrist and former district attorney, has visited hospitals, clinics, leper colonies, and infirmaries worldwide and studies medical history and the ways in which care is delivered. He lives in Rochester, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Ryan Corbett Bell
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 398
Bibliographic Info: 280 photos (12 in color), appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2009]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7301-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

1. Prelude to the Ambulance      3

2. Debut of the Ambulance      11

3. The Modern Ambulance Appears      18

4. Developments During the Civil War      30

5. “Let Us No Longer Add Murder to Maiming”: The Civilian Ambulance in America      49

6. Badge and Bandages: Police Surgeons and Patrol Ambulances      80

7. The Ambulance Surgeons      104

8. First Aides: Early Ambulance Attendants and Emergency Hospitals      126

9. From Horses to Horsepower      146

Between pages 176 and 177 are 8 color plates containing 12 images

10. Siren Call: The Lure of Speed      177

11. Specialty Squads and Disaster Cars      190

12. The 1950s: Losing the Battle      227

13. The 1960s: Changing Tactics      243

14. An Incomplete Revolution: 1970 to 2000      302

15. The Ambulance in the 21st Century      332

Appendix I. In Search of the Origins of the Misericordia      341

Appendix II. Barber Surgeons      345

Appendix III. Dalton: A Life of Service      347

Appendix IV. Shock of Life: The Portable Defibrillator      349

Chapter Notes      355

Bibliography      371

Index      379

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating history”—C&RL News; “you will enjoy this book”—1st Responder News; “fires 398 hard-bound pages at the subject…scope is amazing…much prewar-automobile referencing abounds…this book hits the center!”—Prewar Auto Notes; “if there was a best-seller list for EMS books, [this book] would surely be included. From the EMS veteran to the rookie, you’ll find enjoyment in this easy-to-read trip back in time that examines the origin, history and development of the ambulance and the people who have dedicated their lives to saving others…comprehensive”—Journal of Emergency Medical Services; “this book is stimulating and rewarding”—SpeedReaders.