More Ambulance service history, thanks Graham

22nd March 2023

Letter to Editor

Hi Brian,

Today's Barraba Community News (Wednesday, 15 March, 2023) is a photo of an Ambulance and a call to Brains Trust to identify a photo found at the Barraba Ambulance Station. I think I can throw some light on the photo.


I took over as the Treasurer of the Barraba Branch of the Tamworth Ambulance Service from Ken Stanton late in 1955.  Our son, Colin, was born 15 September 1955 and shortly after he was born in Barraba we used the Barraba ambulance to transfer Colin to Tamworth because of breathing problems.   The President of the Barraba Branch at that time was Terry Kelly.  The Barraba Branch committee worked hard to raise funds to build a new Ambulance Station in Barraba.  We ran barbecues at the New Year's Horton Rodeos and many other functions.  In the end we funded the new station. The first Ambulance Officer at the Station was Ian James McGuffog. Ian was newly married and at that time I thought what start, a career, newly married, new station and we bought two new ambulances.  Ian's marriage to Patricia Catharine Noon was registered 27740/1957.  So, if the marriage was 1957 the photo would in 1957. and the photo probably is Terry Kelly handing over the keys to the new Chrysler ambulance to Ian McGuffog at the new Barraba Station.

If the Ambulance in the photo is a Chrysler then there is a story.  As I have said the Barraba Station was a branch of the Tamworth Ambulance Service with Superintendent Eric Hermanson in charge.  When Eric found out we had purchased a Chrysler (the Barraba branch supporting Roy Collins, the Chrysler dealer in Barraba and had it fitted out by Grice (Grice fitted the bodies to all NSW ambulances at that time) in Sydney there was an uproar as Eric was trying to comply to have a standard fleet of ambulances with uniform make and body.  

Many years later I spoke to Ian at a large fun run in Sydney. I had been invited to start the race and Ian was there in an official ambulance role.  He had risen to a senior position in the Ambulance Service.

Brian, I think the above may be link to the photo.

Grahame Down.