“Owsiak” and “Jesusek” – unique ambulances from Przemyśl in the Museum

Unique ambulances, used so far by the Regional Hospital of St. Padre Pio in Przemyśl, have found their way to the collections of the Rescue Museum in Krakow. It is a gift from the hospital and support of the Board of Podkarpackie Province for preserving the history and tradition of rescue service in the Przemyśl area.

These include ambulances based on Volkswagen T4, Renault Master and Peugeot Boxer cars, which have an interesting history and are also an example of the charity of the people of Przemyśl and the surrounding area. At the beginning of the 21st century, the ambulance service experienced a deep equipment crisis. It was saved by all kinds of collections and activities of foundations.

The first of them, Volkswagen, was purchased within the action “Carol for the hospital” organised by Caritas of Przemyśl Archdiocese. Its coordinator was prelate Tadeusz Biały. Money was collected in all parishes of the archdiocese, and the official handover took place on June 1, 2003. The ambulance was also built as a “social contribution” and although it was far from being a dream, it fulfilled the tasks entrusted to it. It also lived to see the hospital staff give it a commemorative name – “Jesus”.

Another was a specialized ambulance for transporting newborns, donated to the residents of Przemyśl in 2002 by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. The ambulance was built by AMZ-Kutno company on the order of foundation and also this vehicle got its common name – “Owsiak”. Over the years it was used for normal work of ambulance service, as resuscitation and transport ambulance.

The youngest of them is Peugeot Boxer, also with AMZ body, purchased as a modern resuscitation ambulance for no longer existing in Przemysl 114 Military Hospital. It is also a memento of the activities of the military health service in this fortress city, known, among other things, for the history and power of the former CK Army.

The aforementioned building of the already historic military hospital in Przemyśl is also the place where a branch of the Krakow Rescue Museum has been operating since 2018. Thanks to the support of the Przemyśl city authorities, an exhibition documenting the history of rescue is being created there. It will present various rescue vehicles, including the described ambulances.

About the author

Łukasz Pieniążek is the initiator and co-founder of the Rescue Museum in Krakow. He graduated from Journalism and Social Communication at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow. His articles on the history of rescue service appear regularly on the Menway website.

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