EMS Classics is a feature column I write for Canadian Paramedicine.

It is my attempt at giving the younger generation who work in EMS today, a snapshot into the history of ambulance service.

If you are interested in purchasing the images or the text copyright to any of the columns please email me at

Photo Stu Paterson Column

Starr's 1957 Meteor ready for the Calgary Stampede Parade

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Column 01 February/March 2006

Watch For Cars - Or Ride With Starr's

This safety message aimed at school children was attached to the front fenders of the privately owned Starr's Ambulance of Calgary for the 1960 Calgary Stampede Parade. This blunt message served as an early example of a public relations campaign, designed to educate the public about safety while promoting the service. During these years, there was no budget for public relations or advertising campaigns to promote ambulance services, so this cautionary banner met an important, cost effective need.

Note the large Federal "Q" siren mounted on the front fender, the frosted rear window glass, and the fact this 1957 Meteor station wagon was a two-door, which meant the ambulance attendant had to crawl in and out of the patient compartment via the rear tailgate, or via the front passenger door after folding the backrest on the passenger seat forward.

Copyright 2006 Peter Adsten