Throwback Thursday: Casper's new ambulance, May 3, 1955

By Kristy Bleizeffer May 24, 2018

(Casper Star, May 3, 1955)

Before Natrona County Memorial Hospital established its own ambulance service in the 1950s, patients got to the hospital any way they could.

A local mortuary transported patients to the hospital in one of its hearses in the 1930s, according to "Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History," by Rebecca A. Hunt. The hospital then leased a variety of vehicles to establish its own ambulance service. 

In 1955, Casper city administration took over ambulance service with this station wagon, leasing it for the hospital. according to the May 3 edition of the Casper Star. By July, hospital administrator James Carr bought the station wagon outright for $1,950. Ambulance Services had seven employees to man the ambulance and care for its patients.

Today, we have a fleet of 10 state-of-the-art ambulances making nearly 10,000 runs per year. It is supported by 50 staff members including paramedics, EMTs, clerks and more. Each bus travels about 100,000 miles per year and is emblazoned with its own iconic Wyoming animal: A bald eagle, grizzly bear and cubs, a black-footed ferret, two cutthroat trout, a pronghorn, an elk, a moose, a mountain lion, a bison and a bighorn sheep. Natrona County school kids even help us pick the animal, everytime we get a new ambulance. (Read about 2016's black-footed ferret winner here.)

Throwback Thursday looks back on Wyoming Medical Center’s long, rich history in Natrona County. Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center, which archives our vast collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia; and to "Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History," by Rebecca A. Hunt, Ph.D. Information is also collected from a collection of Hi-Lites, Wyoming Medical Center's employee newsletter, dating from 1982-1996.