"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

From the Civil War to today—the evolution of the ambulance.

Feb 24, 2021 by Eileen Adler

The need for a medical transport system found its roots during the Civil War when transporting wounded soldiers. Within four years of the war’s ending, Bellevue Hospital in New York established an emergency transit system, but these preceded the automobile, so patients continued to be transported with horse-drawn wagons, a rather bumpy ride; this changed with the advent of autos in the late 1800s. The first electric-powered vehicle arrived at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois in 1899. By the mid-1960s, the National Highway and Traffic Administration created the standards for vehicles used as ambulances with new innovations added regularly. Today we may think of ambulances as “high tech mobile health units.”

            By the mid-1920s, converted airplanes were equipped to transport patients, and by the 1950s, helicopters were called into service beginning with the Korean War, with on-going improvements made during the Viet Nam War. In the early 1970s, St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado established the first use of medical helicopter service for civilians. 

            The ambulance arrives, the patient is stabilized and driven to the hospital. Buy where did the concept of an “emergency room” originate?  Early on, these rooms were referred to as “accident rooms.” By 1974, emergency rooms became more standardized with the advent of Emergency Medicine Residency Programs “funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation” believing that doctors needed specialized training. We may not recognize his name, but we are familiar with Johnson & Johnson and it was one of his sons, General Robert Wood Johnson II who co-founded the company in 1873 but 1876 was the turning point. This was when he heard Dr. Joseph Lister share his perspective on antiseptic surgery. Within ten years, Johnson & Johnson manufactured sterile surgical supplies. Their credo begins “We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients.” From the beginning, the company focused on the needs of women who are the primary care partners and understood the importance of keeping women healthy; today this vision encompasses a world-wide view to assist women in underserved communities.    

Life Lesson: Have the Vial of L.I.F.E. available for emergency personnel.

The Vial of L.I.F.E. (Lifesaving Information for Emergencies) is a program that allows individuals to have their complete medical information ready in their home for emergency personnel to reference during an emergency. 

To order a free Vial of Life form: http://vialalife.com/vialreqform.htm

From AARP: https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-03-2010/vial-of-life.html


The National Stroke Association teaches a way to recognize stroke symptoms: FAST

F - Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A - Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift or fall downward?

S - Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is their speech slurred or strange?

T - Time: Call 911 immediately if you observe any of these symptoms. Note the time the symptoms first appeared!


There is a 4.5-hour window from the time a patient has a stroke to the deadline when a doctor can inject a miracle drug that helps break down the clot.

That is why there is so much urgency that you dial 911 for stroke symptoms.

Do not overthink it.

Just Call for Help!!