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.

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1968 Meteor & 1963 Superior Cadillac, Crescent Ambulance, Saskatoon SK

photo Peter Adsten Column
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Column 02 April/May 2006

Crescent Ambulance, Saskatoon

In 1971 Ken Sawatsky and I started a new ambulance service in Saskatoon. Competition was tough - there were already two privately owned ambulance services in the city. With hard work and determination our call volume grew, and soon the other two ambulance operators decided to sell their companies to us. Then we were in a position where we could improve our service by increasing staff levels, reducing response times and purchasing new vehicles and equipment. The highlight of our years operating the ambulance service came in 1974 when our entire staff of 20 graduated from the newly available Emergency Medical Technician course offered by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Crescent was the first ambulance service in Saskatchewan to have an all EMT staff.

The photograph shows Crescent's first ambulances. Car #1 was a 1963 Cadillac Superior that we leased from Sorensen Distributors of Red Deer, Alberta, Car #2 was a 1968 Meteor station wagon on which Charlie's Auto Body fitted a metal raised roof. Ken installed the lights and siren, and I built the cabinet for the patient compartment. This was the first ambulance we ever built - we did not realize building ambulances would become our life's work.

Copyright 2006 Peter Adsten