Emergency public ambulance service or as termed today emergency medical services for Washington D. C. has followed a convoluted and at periods troubled path. Its beginnings in our nation’s capital are rooted in the various hospitals and their evolution in service and care. The City War is a likely beginning because at the height of the conflict up to 85 hospitals exist in Washington. A military ambulance corps along with dedicated wagons moves the array of injured soldiers from trains and boats to the many facilities the majority of as camps or warehouses associated with suffering with little in the way of sanitation or even proper medical treatment. After the war, Washington D. C. begins to develop since the once river bottom city expands into the hinterlands adding new public facilities and services. This includes new hospitals models for the improved understanding and practice of medicine.
Within 1880, Central Dispensary Hospital opens its emergency department becoming Central Dispensary and Emergency Hospital. Within 1888, telephone service founder Alexander Graham Bell donates an ambulance to Garfield Memorial Hospital another model of medical modernity. An ambulance is added to Central Dispensary and Emergency Hospital by 1892 comparable period the city’s Metropolitan Law enforcement Department has several ambulances. The majority of ambulances of this period are like horse-drawn delivery wagons or hearses used mostly for those less able to pay for a doctor to come to their home.
Right after 1910, the horse-drawn wagons and modified hearses are replaced simply by motorized vehicles still operated by simply a few city hospitals. Not all private hospitals have emergency departments with most open part-time. Central Dispensary and Emergency Hospital near the White Home as well as Eastern Dispensary and Casualty Hospital near the Capitol become the pillar of emergency medical care and community ambulance service. In 1918 an influenza pandemic brings various Crimson Cross ambulance stations to areas of the city. More like garages, these have got nurses and motorized ambulances for handling the array of flu cases already overwhelming the hospitals.
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Simply by 1924, five hospitals have ambulances with a sixth run by the Health Department for the indigent and psychologically ill. The concept of emergency medicine is really as yet to be realized with no dedicated professionals just whoever is available to handle an emergency case. Ambulances are staffed by interns, an occasional physician or nurse on board depending on the type of call. Still, abuse of program in the way of needless calls are an issue and at times no ambulance can be obtained. There is no coordination or dispatching and no way to communicate with units once they take the street. In early 1925, the District of Columbia Fire Department adds an ambulance as part of its newly formed rescue company. This responds upon rescues and fires initially intended for injured firefighters. Over time as support demands rise, the fire department ambulance is used to cover for active hospital ambulances.
In 1937 several citizens in the Chevy Chase section of Upper Northwest form the Chevy Chase First Aid Corps. This all you are not selected ambulance agency serves portions associated with Washington D. C. and Montgomery County Maryland. In 1940, radio communications are introduced to Washington’s emergency agencies including fire division units like the rescue squad as well as its ambulance. Hospital ambulances are similarly equipped linked to the Metropolitan Police Department’s radio system. While police are more abundant in the community and sometimes arrive at emergencies first, this still causes confusion and inefficiency as the law enforcement in truth want no part of tracking and coordinating ambulances. Sometimes the particular closest ambulance is not the one sent and occasionally units from various hospitals pass one another en-route in order to calls. Hospitals are largely close to the Downtown hence service for your growing outskirts takes longer with units out of service for higher periods. There is no central authority to oversee operations or make modifications as demands warrant.
Late in 1941, the nation is thrust into World War II and the Chevy Chase First-aid Corps ceases service its users signing up for military duty pledging in order to re-start upon their return. In the mean time Washington D. C. sees a good explosion in wartime population additional taxing an already beleaguered ambulance service. The war also provides a loss of ambulance drivers replaced by volunteers many being ladies. Doctors also in short supply cease responding on the ambulances leaving only interns and volunteer drivers with minimum if any training. As the system becomes strained it is clear no one has the authority to make needed modifications. The police department has the greatest oversight but ignores problems as ambulance responsibilities are viewed more as being a burden they are stuck with.
By mid 1943, the fire department adds another ambulance this attached to its newly formed Rescue Squad 2 . Right after, a doctor and President of the city’s Police and Fi