Film ID:
YFA 3828



Visitor Tabs


Fred Williams was part of the ambulance crew of Honley that created an educational film in 1972.  At that time, the ambulances were quite basic, much like bread vans.  With the suspension of the vehicles being as they were, the ease of the journey would depend on the driver’s knowledge of the roads and their skills as a driver.  The crew put together the film in their own time, and the film was designed to show the correct medical techniques to use. The film shows the accidents people encounter on a camp site and the skills the ambulance staff use to help them.  This film was captured on two reels of 8mm film and was sectioned in two parts by the filmmaker Fred Williams.

Part one

Inter title – The film you are about to see concerns the work of the dedicated men and women of the West Riding (Yorkshire) County Ambulance Service who, through their specialised training, are able to provide expert on the-spot treatment and transportation when… “Someone Needs Help!”

The film opens with views of Yorkshire county landscape, roof tops, streets, bridges, trees and country lanes.  A green tent is pitched in a field, through the flap in the tent men can be seen sleeping in their sleeping bags around a table.  On the table, there is a clock which reads 8:30am.  A man in the tent wakes up, looks at his watch, and reaches over to the table to look at the clock there.  The man lies down again and goes back to sleep.  The camera retreats from the tent to show the green tent in the field and the countryside landscape surrounding it.

A blue car drives down a country road, and the road is seen from the driver’s point of view.  Building and sign (Salvation Army).  The driver pulls up outside the building.  He is wearing a peaked cap, and he reaches for his jacket and bag, gets out of the vehicle, and walks into the building.  The man hangs up his jacket and bag on a coat peg and walks into the front office to look at a large signing in book on the desk.  He looks up at the clock on the wall, 7:50am, and signs in that time in the book.  A man at a desk is on the telephone.  After hanging up the receiver, he gives two men a slip of paper with a message from the phone call. 

A ginger haired man wearing dark-rimmed glasses sits on a chair with The Daily Mirror newspaper (Back cover ”It’s a United Sheffield”.)  Two men, sitting opposite the man reading the newspaper, are having a conversation.  Another man enters the room, sits on the arm of one of the chairs, and lights a cigarette.  Two other men are standing up together talking as another man joins them.  The man with the glasses finishes reading his newspaper and puts it down on the camera lens causing the scene to fade to black. 

There is a sign on the wall above a clip chart:  Out Patient Journeys.  The man with glasses takes the clip chart off the wall, is joined by another man, and they look through the chart together.   The man with glasses takes one of the small pieces of paper, places it on a smaller clip chart, and hands it to the other man.  He looks at the clock on the wall (8:00am).  Six of the men from the office walk into the car park were several white ambulance vans are parked (Accident Ambulance).  The men separate into pairs, and each climb into an ambulance.  One of the men checks in the back of the ambulance to see what equipment is there before getting into the driver’s side and pulling out of the car park.

An ambulance comes to a stop on a residential street.  The driver of the ambulance gets out of the van and walks up the garden path to the front door.  He knocks and enters the house.  Meanwhile the other ambulance crew member opens the back doors of the ambulance and sets up the ramp. The man comes out of the house carrying a boy with a cast on his leg.  A woman in a red suit follows and locks the door behind them.  The man puts the boy inside the ambulance, and the woman gets into the back with him.  The ambulance man closes the doors, gets into the driver’s seat, and writes of the paper on the clip board before driving away.

The road is seen from the view of the ambulance driver’s window as it races through the streets.

The same ambulance stops in another residential area, and the two ambulance crew get out and knock on the door.  One of the men goes into the house and guides a woman out of the front.  He helps her into the ambulance before going back and closing her front door.  The ambulance man gets back into his van and checks his rear view mirror before driving off. 

Again, the road is seen from the view of the ambulance driver’s window as it races through the streets.

Sign in front of the hospital:  Out Patients.  The ambulance vans are parked outside.  The man takes a wheel chair to one of the ambulances, and the other man lifts the boy with the broken leg into the chair.  The woman in the red suit climbs out of the ambulance and follows them into the building.  One of the ambulance men helps the older woman out of the van and leads her into the hospital.       

End of Part one

Part two
Part two takes a closer look at the emergency services provided by the Ambulance Service.  All the scenes recorded are part of a reconstruction.

A man outside tent pours water from a carton into a metal kettle and places it on a stove.  Two men come out of a tent and pour water into a container.  A man goes to light the gas stove to boil the kettle when it explodes in his face.  One of his friends rushes to the fire with a wet towel while the other two men roll around on the ground injured.  Others rush to help them.  One of the men goes into the tent to get blankets for the two men who are injured.  Another fills buckets of water and puts the man’s injured hands in them.

One of the campers then runs through the fields to a house and down the steps.  He knocks, but nobody answers.  Instead, he runs to the road and stops a car tells them about the accident.  The driver offers him a ride, so he gets in to the car.

Split screen - A man drives in ambulance, and boy in car drives to a red telephone box.  The door to the Radio Control room opens to an office where a woman takes the emergency call.  She connects them to the ambulance station and contacts the man driving the ambulance about the accident.  The boy gets back into the car and is driven back to the accident as the man driving the ambulance races to the accident scene. 

Once the emergency service has arrived, the boy directs the one of ambulance crew to the scene of the accident as the ambulance driver takes the van to the accident.  The ambulance man looks over both of the injured men and puts cold compresses over one of the men’s eyes.  One of the men helps the driver of the ambulance carry the stretcher down to his injured friend.  The ambulance man places bandages on the man’s ear as the other goes to help the other man with his arms in the buckets to lie down on the ground before applying dressings and bandages to his wounds.

The other worker checks over the camper with the injured eyes and ears.  He feels around his chest, legs, and feet for any other injuries before covering him with the blanket again.  The ambulance men prepare the stretchers to take the men to the ambulance.  The ambulance men lift the injured men on to the stretchers, placing two long poles down either side of it to make handles.  The ambulance crew carry the two men on stretchers up the field to the ambulance van and bring out the gurneys.  The crew place the men on stretchers onto the gurneys and sit them up right before putting them onto the back of the ambulance.  The ambulance crew drive the van to the hospital, radio in on the way, and check both of the injured men on the journey. 

Roads, streets and houses are seen from the point of view of the driver as the ambulance races to the hospital.

The ambulance arrives at the hospital, and the driver gets out of the van, making his way to let the injured men out of the back.  Meanwhile nursing staff from the hospital come out of the building to bring in the injured men.  The ambulance crew push each of the men on the gurneys into the hospital doors with the nursing staff.  The doors swing shut behind them.

Inter title – Made by members of the West Riding County Ambulance Service Honley Station.
Appreciation to County Ambulance Officer and the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for their kind co-operation.
Ambulance-aid Advisor Fred Williams
Camera Alan Dixon
Directed and Produced by Geoffrey Milnes

End of Part two