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Photo provided by the St. Clair Shores Historical Commission

Looking back: St. Clair Shores ambulance

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 18, 2019

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Today, most people associate emergency rescue and ambulance services with the fire department, but in St. Clair Shores, transport of injured patients was the responsibility of the Police Department until 1949, even though the Fire Department had been established in 1927.

Like many communities after World War II, St. Clair Shores realized it was facing increased numbers of vehicle accidents, as well as a rise in heart attacks. Nationally, those rising numbers spurred better ambulance design. The development of closed cardiac massage and effective mouth-to-mouth resuscitation also influenced the equipment that ambulances would carry.

By 1962, when this photo of an ambulance and patient resuscitation demonstration was taken, the St. Clair Shores Fire Department would make a total of 1,309 ambulance runs for the year. A total of 1,235 people were transported to hospitals. The single biggest category of ambulance runs was for injuries as a result of motor vehicle accidents (202). The next-largest category of ambulance trips was because of a variety of other assorted injuries and heart attacks. Four babies were delivered in St. Clair Shores as part of ambulance transport in 1962.

Today, all St. Clair Shores firefighters have both fire and paramedic training.

— Submitted by Heidi Christein, archivist, St. Clair Shores Public Library