Holden One-Ton Multi-berth Ambulances (1978-1986)


St.John in South Australia used a variety of Holden Van Ambulances in addition to the Holden Panel Van (Standard) Ambulances.  The Holden One-Tone Multi-berth Ambulances came in a variety of configurations.  Many of these vehicles were sourced by local Divisions using funds from local service clubs such as the Lions Club who wanted well equipped ambulances to service their local communities.  One vehicle was located at Prospect (Fleet 67) the rest of these types were exclusively country cars.



One of Kevin’s photos of Fleet 145 a Holden One-Ton Multi-berth Van Ambulance (Registration number STF-539), at Mount Pleasant 1985.



One of Kevin’s photos of Fleet 43 a Multi-berth Ambulance next to a Holden Panel Van (Standard) Ambulance Fleet 14.  Glen Sparks said, Incidentally, the picture that is on your site of Fleet 43 (in the van section) was taken in the Mt Gambier Station, which is still in use by us today.” This vehicle is fitted with two roof-mounted beacons and a single roof mounted siren.


Other pictures that Glen has provided from Mount Gambier and other places can be found on various pages around the site.


Kevin lists the following Fleet numbers for the One-Ton Multi-Berths


Station                           Fleet

Prospect                         67

Strathalbyn                     100

Eudunda                          146

Mt. Gambier                    43

Naracoorte                      86

Maitland                          153

Pt. Pirie                           95 (He thinks)

Mt. Pleasant                    145


There were also Fleets 9 and 123 but Kevin cannot recall the base station numbers.



Yet another of Kevin’s photos of Fleet 43 a Holden Multi-berth Ambulance, as above taken in 1981.  The “Mt. Gambier” decal is visible under the patient compartment window.



Another view of Fleet 14 and 43 in the garage at Mount Gambier around October 1981 (photo taken by Kevin)



Interior of Holden Multi-berth Fleet 43 at Mount Gambier in October 1981.  Note that this body has side opening rear “barn” doors (photo by Kevin)


Andrew M said of the Multi-berths;


My favourite ambulance was the Holden HG 186, Tri-matic with the Grifco siren and the centre well.  Some different ideas and configurations were tried as you have provided in Car 145 example pic.  These were special orders usually by country Divisions.  They had access to funds thru their communities to experiment thru local money raising efforts.  Lions come to mind.  We did not have many of these. They were not a favourite of the council or the divisions that ordered them for a reason I can explain one day, they rotated back into metro areas to get rid of them.




Interior of Mount Pleasant Multi-berth, Fleet 145, in October 85 (Photo by Kevin).  Ferno-Washington F-26, D-sized Oxygen cylinder, glass suction bottle, sphygmomanometer (for taking blood pressure) and a small electric fan in the top left had corner.  Note that this body has a top mounted rear door.



Right hand side rear view of the interior of Fleet 145 (Photo by Kevin). 





The driver’s compartment of the multi-berth, Fleet 145, fitted with an AWA Fleetmaster Carphone radio, and a Chubb siren.




Fleet 145 parked outside of the Mount Pleasant Centre.  Note the small split sliding window above the main rear window (Kevin).




Another view of Fleet 145 Pleasantville, a nicely laid out St.John Centre (Kevin).



Similar vehicles were used interstate and the spiritual successors to the type in South Australia were the Ford Falcon Longreach and Holden Commodore Jakab Ambulances that will be featured later.


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