Posted on November 8, 2013 by Tia Lalani

Augustana Campus donated their paramedic training unit to the Reynolds Museum of Alberta.

Len Stelmaschuk, Augustana Dean Allen Berger and Justin Cuffe (Reynolds Museum) in front of Bula

Len Stelmaschuk, Augustana Dean Allen Berger and Justin Cuffe (Reynolds Museum) in front of Bula

The University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus donated their rolling paramedic training classroom, “Bula”, to the Reynolds Museum of Alberta for an upcoming history of ambulances.

The 1987 Dodge ambulance was made by Ambucraft, an Alberta-based company originating in Innisfail. It was purchased by the City/County Ambulance Authority in 1987. It served on emergency lifesaving calls and emergency transfers to care centres throughout Alberta as a front line unit until it was scheduled for replacement in 1999.

At around the same time, the then-Augustana University College started up a Distance Education Paramedic program. The ambulance – provincial registration number 1251 – was purchased from the City/County of Camrose around 2001. It became a training vehicle to simulate a work environment and assisted the program in moving forward.

The vehicle was nicknamed “Bula”. All ambulances have the words AMBULANCE written across the front backwards so that people can read it in their rear view mirror. When the City/County sold it to Augustana, they tried to take lettering off but only removed AM – and – NCE.

IMG_8486When the Augustana University College joined the University of Alberta in 2004, the Paramedic program no longer aligned with the new Faculty. The program was transferred to Lakeland College, but Bula was not.

After Bula remained idle in a Camrose parking compound for several years, Len Stelmaschuk (Health Compliance Officer with Alberta Health Standards Compliance and Licensing Branch, and paramedic Bula-trained in the Augustana EMT program) approached the Reynolds Museum of Alberta. He found out they were looking to start a history of ambulances. Given that Bula has ties to an Alberta-based manufacturing company, was used in active service in Alberta, and transitioned to train Emergency Medical Services workers, it was deemed a suitable candidate for the preservation of EMS history.

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