The following page provides a range of photos of Ambulances in
Victoria's Ambulance Service between 1800 & 1900




Ambulance Services were initially introduced to Victoria by the Victorian Division of St John Ambulance Association. In 1887, following a fundraising campaign, 6 specially designed Ashford Litter Ambulances were purchased from London.   The litter’s featured 2 large wheels with elliptical springs, four legs to support the litter when parked, which folded up to form handles for pushing the litter long.

Four litters were initially stationed at Police Stations around Melbourne (Russell St, Bourke St, King St & West Melbourne Stations), and operated with limited success by on duty Police Officers. An additional litter was stored also stored at the Melbourne Town Hall in Swanston St.  A final Litter was placed at the Eastern Hill Fire Station operated by Firefighters who trained in a range of first aid skills and are considered to be Victoria’s first true ‘Ambulance Officers’.

A number of country areas also used Ashford Litters, but due to distances, their use was limited to major towns.

One of the original Ashford Litters has been restored and remains on display with MAS.

Click Here for additional photos of the Ashford Litter.



Pictured outside the Fire Station at Eastern Hill in 1899 is Melbourne's first purpose built horse drawn Ambulance Coach. 

The Fire Brigades first Coach came in 1899 when a wagon was loaned from the Defence Department, but was soon found to be unsuitable for Ambulance use due to it’s design and bulk. Fundraising by the 'Daughters of the Court', allowed the Fire Brigade to purchase the first purpose built Coach in late 1899 (pictured), attending over 400 cases in it's first year of operation.  Due to significant increasing workload and the unwillingness of the St John Ambulance or Government, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade ceased Ambulance services on the 31st December 1902,

 Horse drawn Ambulance coaches were also introduced throughout country areas of Victoria Ambulance in the early 1900’s and saw service until the late 1920’s.

Click Here for additional photos of the Horse Drawn Coaches.



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