95 years ago, the first ambulance station was opened in Poznań, with the only ambulance in the city. To call for help, one had to dial the emergency number 6666. The station was launched on the tenth anniversary of regaining independence, and therefore Józef Piłsudski became its patron.
“Yesterday, the ceremonial opening of a useful facility took place. Our city has been suffering from the lack of an ambulance service for several years,” wrote “Dziennik Poznański”.
On November 11, 1928, the first ambulance station in Poznań was opened, with the only ambulance in the city. Its headquarters was located in the fire brigade building at 16 Grunwaldzka Street.
“The ribbon blocking the entrance to the garage housing the Ambulance Service was cut by the voivode, Count Dunin-Borkowski, to the sounds of a military band, then the gathered people entered the two rooms where the station’s outpatient clinic is located. Here, Father Budaszewski blessed the interior, and the vice-president of the Emergency Service spoke briefly. Dr. Węckowski, pointing to the work program of the new charity facility. A joint photo ended this nice celebration,” described “Dziennik Poznański” (original spelling).
Four sixes were dialed
An ambulance with a crew was waiting for the first call on November 11 from noon. To call for help, you had to call the emergency number 6666.
“We hope that the generosity of the public will enable the Emergency Medical Service to open further stations and ambulances, so that the emergency services will finally be properly organized in our city,” wrote “Dziennik Poznański”.
Marshal’s name on the bodywork
Due to the opening of the ambulance station on the tenth anniversary of regaining independence, it was named after Marshal Józef Piłsudski. The patron was also on the first ambulances.
After a year, Poznań got its second ambulance vehicle. Ten years after opening the ambulance station, the city had six ambulances.
The first ambulance station was established in the area where the General National Exhibition (Pewuka) was held in 1929, which summarized the first decade of Poland after regaining independence and presented the economic, cultural, scientific and political achievements of the country, which returned to the maps after 123 years. It was the largest exhibition ever organized in the Republic of Poland. And it remains so to this day. It occupied approximately 65 hectares – an area three times larger than the current Poznań International Fair. It can be compared to 93 football fields.
The city was preparing for this event in full swing – dozens of new buildings, a new district, and the largest restaurant (Restauracja Centralna PWK with 1,700 seats) were built. The largest hotel in Poland – Polonia – was also built.
On February 1, 1929, the emergency service moved to the Polonia hotel building. In November 1932, they were moved to the Masztalarnia Zamku at ul. Fredry. During World War II, a German ambulance station was established at ul. Chudoba, who was then transferred to the hospital. Transfiguration of the Lord at pl. Bernardyński. After the end of the war, the emergency room was initially located at ul. Głogowska 95, then ul. Śniadeckich, and from January 1951 at ul. Chełmońskiego 20. After more than half a century, in December 2005, the Poznań ambulance service had a new headquarters. Currently, the headquarters of the regional Emergency Medical Service station in Poznań is located in a modernized building at ul. Rycerska 10.
Earlier, a taxi was called
How did Poznań cope without an ambulance before? From 1927, every resident of Poznań who had a telephone – or whose neighbor had one – remembered the number 5555. It was the emergency number of the Night Emergency Medical Service, whose headquarters were located right next to the telephone exchange on Pocztowa Street.
How should you call for help? This was described by “Wielkopolska Ilustracja”.
A nervous hand grabbed the telephone receiver.
– This is the Night Emergency Medical Service.
– Doctor – someone says in a trembling, broken voice – We ate fish for dinner and my wife swallowed a bone. The poor thing is suffocating.
– She is good! Send a taxi. I’ll be there in a few minutes!
The journalists of “Wielkopolska Ilustracja” definitely exaggerated with these “few minutes”. First, you had to run to a taxi rank, be lucky and find one of the three hundred fares in the city, and send for a doctor so that he could get to the patient. Of course, all at the latter’s expense.
Previously, you could forget about night help – you had to wait until the morning.
Main photo source: LEAVES