On Fire

This fire mimic panel call board, dating from 1938, was in use at the Royal Adelaide Hospital until 1987.

The panel is divided into sections, each representing a ward or area. As the names of wards and buildings changed, new labels were stuck over the original ones.

In the case of a fire alarm, a big red light at the bottom of the panel illuminated and the ward/area also concerned was lit up in white. Once the issue was resolved, the orderly pressed the corresponding small yellow button below, turning off the red and white lights.

Orderlies White Helmet: The Orderly in Charge had to wear this hat to attend fire alarms, 1967

The panel was originally in the old Casualty Block, later known as the Women’s Health Building. When the new theatre block opened in 1968, the Orderlies’ Office was moved to Level Three, and the panel was relocated there.

On the lower left side of the panel, there is significant damage to the wood. The Head Orderly created a daily roster for lunch breaks, which was then pinned to the left side of the panel.

In 1987, the panel was decommissioned.

Written by Margot Way, CALHN Health Museum