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Ambulance Barbecue Sat 9 Sep

Celebrating a historic trip to Toowoomba


Ambulance services in Queensland began in 1892, with the formation of the City Ambulance Transport Brigade. Queensland's first ambulance station operated out of the Brisbane Newspaper Company building; the first officers possessed a stretcher, but no vehicle, and so transported patients on foot.

By 1902 the ambulance brigade had spread to a number of Queensland communities including Toowoomba to become the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade (QATB).  Each local centre was administered by a QATB committee in conjunction with the State Council.  

In 1991, the QATB was transformed into a state-administered service to become the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS). It is the chief provider of out-of-hospital emergency care and ambulance transport in Queensland.

Ambulance Museum 325gw
Restored Studebaker Ambulance. Rosemary Morley and Vince Little



Morning Bulletin 30 Nov 1903

A man named William Smoothy was out shooting pigeons today with another man named Johnson. The latter had shot a pigeon with the left barrel. Smoothy was standing about three yards away when, by some means, the right barrel accidentally went off. The contents entered Smoothy's back, tearing a hole as big as his fist.

The accident happened a few miles from Crow's Nest. Johnson carried his wounded companion on his shoulders for about two miles to a house. The Toowoomba Ambulance Brigade, which was telegraphed for, had to drive thirty miles to Crow's Nest, where Smoothy had been taken in a cart.

The Ambulance bearers have to walk with the litter a distance of thirty miles back to the Toowoomba Hospital. Up till a late hour to-night they had not arrived, but it is known that the man is in an extremely critical condition.

Ambulance litter
Ambulance litter. Michael Hooper and Vince Little



From Vince Little, Ambulance Sub-committee at Pioneer Village:

We are celebrating 125 years of the Ambulance Service in Queensland. 

We wanted to re-enact the retrieval of the Crows Nest resident reported in the Morning Bulletin.

They had to push the ambulance litter to Toowoomba, taking some 15 hours. The local community fed and watered the party as it was making progress toward Toowoomba Hospital. The patient survived the injury and the journey to hospital.

This reenactment was cancelled because of police restrictions so it was decided to have a celebration BBQ in the Crows Nest park.



Centenary Park Crows Nest Qld Map


9:30 am


There will also be an event at the Tooowoomba Library at 1:30 pm