A lifetime of Ambulance Victoria’s history on display


The Ambulance Victoria Chas Martin OAM Museum is holding a special open day on Sunday April 16, inviting all Victorians, including those in Wyndham, to experience the proud history of the state’s ambulance service.

Ambulance Victoria said the volunteer-run museum houses an extensive collection of vintage ambulances, medical equipment, uniforms, communications equipment and more.

Museum Curator Ralph Casey said the Open Day would give the public a chance to see the progress that’s been made in pre-hospital emergency care since ambulance services started in Melbourne in the 1880s.

“You’ll walk away with a better appreciation of the huge improvements in medical and communications technology and equipment that have been made,” Mr Casey said.

“Visitors are welcome to sit in the ambulances, take photos, touch the uniforms and to meld into what it was like in those times.

“Most of our visitors go away in awe with an appreciation of what it was like in the past, and that’s exactly what a museum is meant to do.”

The museum, located in Bayswater, was the brainchild of a group of retired ambulance officers who formed the Ambulance Historic Society of Victoria in 1986.

The group began acquiring and restoring vintage ambulances, starting out with just six vehicles.

The fleet has since grown to 30, including the first Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance vehicle, a mass casualty bus and ambulance motorbikes.

Museum treasurer Darrell Rintoule said the displays provide a terrific account of the state’s pre-hospital emergency care history.

“It’s a great example of where the ambulance service used to be to what it is now,” the former paramedic said.

“Across my time, I’ve seen massive changes and all for the better for patient outcomes.”

More than 20 volunteers, many of them ex-paramedics, help run the museum.

The full museum collection will be on display this Sunday 14 April, from 10am to 2pm at 1/55 Barry St, Bayswater VIC 3153.

Guided tours and light refreshments will be available, and families are encouraged to attend.