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View Full Version : Ambulance essentials - 1970/1975


Steve Loftin
12-02-2010, 09:34 PM
Here is an article entitled "Essential equipment for ambulances," from the May, 1970 issue of BULLETIN, AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS (revised June, 1975). If your car was in service in the 1970s, whether it was a '63 or a '73 model, this is a list of the equipment it might have (should have?) carried:

Steve Loftin
12-02-2010, 09:40 PM
Hopefully, this will help any of you that are trying to equip your car as it might have been when in service.

Scott Crittenden
12-03-2010, 02:56 PM
Thanks Steve, it might be an old list but it still pretty much sums up what is carried on a BLS unit. My current ambulance has everything (or the modern equivalent) on the list but the Ipecac. Which sis no longer considered suitable.

Jeremy D. Ledford
12-03-2010, 03:46 PM
I was amazed with myself after reading that to what all on that list that I've already collected up for the combo and hopefully one day to stock up a future high top with!

Steve Loftin
08-08-2011, 09:17 PM
Here, on display, is what a well-equipped ambulance would've carried in about 1970. Gold Cross was headquartered in Wichita with satellite locations in Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City at one time.

The main cot is a #54 while the auxiliaries are a #12, #11, and #? (help me out here, guys...which model had the four folding "U" legs?). Who among us older types can forget the black Air-Shields Ambu Bag? It was available by itself or in a larger kit which included a portable (manual) aspirator, as seen here.

Visible options on this 1967 Rescuer include tri-tone paint, side (and lighted) roof signs, Strat-O-Ray beacon, Super Chief whistle, #225 spotlight, and bucket seats with center console.

(SL collection)

John ED Renstrom
08-09-2011, 12:40 PM
I would bet there are not vay many people still in service that could put the short board on with the long strap.

Scott A. Anderson
08-09-2011, 05:53 PM
I bet there aren't very many who could put on a Thomas half ring using triangles folded into cravats to support the leg, or make a cravat into an ankle hitch either.

Has anyone ever heard of someone using the aluminum foil for something medically related?

Bill Leverett
08-09-2011, 07:21 PM
My training in 1979 said that aluminum foil could be used on top of abd. pads to retain heat/moisture for that very common occurrence of bowel evisceration. Could also be used for wrapping newborns.

Not that I've used it for anything other than campouts & grilling with a BBQ.

Brady D Smith
08-09-2011, 07:44 PM
I was lookinf for that very information to fill up the '77. I appreciate the resource.

Dan Herrick
08-09-2011, 08:00 PM
I bet there aren't very many who could put on a Thomas half ring using triangles folded into cravats to support the leg, or make a cravat into an ankle hitch either.

Has anyone ever heard of someone using the aluminum foil for something medically related?



The aluminum foil was also used to make an inclusive bandage for a sucking chest wound. For those that do not know what an inclusive bandage is, it was also called a three sided bandage as three sides were anchored to hold it down. The forth side was left open so that when a person was breathing in the bandage would seal, when exhaling the bandage would allow air to escape.

Steve Loftin
08-09-2011, 08:44 PM
I was lookinf for that very information to fill up the '77. I appreciate the resource.

My pleasure, sir...always glad to be of help!

Kent Martinson
08-09-2011, 09:28 PM
I bet there aren't very many who could put on a Thomas half ring using triangles folded into cravats to support the leg, or make a cravat into an ankle hitch either.

Has anyone ever heard of someone using the aluminum foil for something medically related?

Yes. It could be used for sucking chest wounds.

Bill Leverett
08-09-2011, 09:54 PM
We were taught to use a square of Esmarch bandage taped on 3 sides. The rubber in the Esmarch was pliable and conformed better. That's the neat thing about early EMS...a task to be acccomplished and many ways to do it with limited/common resources.

John ED Renstrom
08-09-2011, 10:51 PM
two hands and a head with the will to do something other then wring you hands was ll you needed to get you out of most things. hart attacks were another matter. I'll bow my head to you new guys on those. the arm lift back pressure method was not vary effective. the rest was stabilize stop the bleeding load and go.

Chris M. Kelley
08-10-2011, 03:12 AM
I just did our tri-annual ambulance relicensure, as the captain of the service got fed up and stepped away. I had to go through two months of total BS, and spent a lot of time in the local emergency services office. The whole deal was mine, I could replace, remove, etc., anything I wanted... So long as they passed inspection. Which got me hooked up with some really cool free stuff when they cleaned out the county civil defense garage... 3 x suction units, old laerdal models; and a large LSP/Robertshaw "E" size kit, 34yrs old and in brand new shape.

Between two ambulances, the amount of over stocking was un-fricking-believable. Pennsylvania requires like the bare minimum of supplies. Some stuff, you want more of, some is just asinine to stock up on. Between two units; seven KED's, nine traction splints, eleven backboards, three fold-a-cot's, three scoop's, four short boards, at least three dozen air splints, 45lbs in sand bags... and a lot of Korean War Surplus... Oh, and five rolls of aluminum foil. A&P Brand.. The A&P burned down 19 days after I was born, 28 years, 7 months or so..ago.

I took a picture of all the stuff, I had to take two to get it all. Everything was off, b/c one of the rigs nailed a tree during the winter. Anyhoo.. Of the stuff removed and replaced - or just plain removed. 2 Half Ring traction splints, honestly, I used these more than Sager's or Hare's. The foil isn't required, if you have either mylar blankets, or other suitable device. The purpose is warming infants, eg. newborns. The most simple replacement is called a Silver Swaddler. Hudson BVM's, reusable - yuck. Several Life-Saver kits, every bandage that looked like it was from WWII. Home made splints, that stuff is cheap for a reason. I did leave some keen antique device on board, it's the cats behind for dislocations.

So anyhoo.. The foil.. Putting over evisceration's, keeping babies warm... We carry the required Vaseline gauze for chest wounds.. It works, used it on a stabbing victim. Used a device called an "Asherman Chest Seal" on a victim that was shot several times. It's safe to assume your multi-system trauma patient is going to be cool, shocky and diaphoretic by the time EMS arrives.. So a device that relies solely on it's thin adhesive strip will naturally not work when you need it to.