Friday, October 29, 2004

Oh, Ambulance Was Invented For ...

An interesting information from the book I am reading ...


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Q. When did the first ambulance take to the streets of New York?

A. The first ambulance was seen on the streets in 1867, but it was for horses. Two years before, a wealthy New Yorker named Henry Bergh chartered the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Bergh, nicknamed the Great Meddler by newspaper reporters because of his confrontational style, was particularly horrified by the cruelty he saw directed at working horses, the primary beasts of burden at the time. Toward that end, the ASPCA created a horse-drawn ambulance in 1867 to treat wounded animals who would otherwise be left on the street to die.

Two years later, Bellevue Hospital introduced the city's first ambulance for humans. Each vehicle was equipped with a stretcher, splints, bandages, tourniquets, handcuffs, a straitjacket and a quart of brandy. Today the ASPCA is a nationwide organization. While it now treats mainly domesticated animals, its roots are not forgotten; the official seal of the organization depicts an angel rising up to protect a fallen horse about to be struck.

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