Northside Christian College
Northside Christian College
Northside Christian College
Northside Christian College

Our History

The Voluntary First Aid Movement formed on 2 September 1892 by the organisation's employees who recognised the need to be able to provide skilled first aid assistance to their colleagues when necessary. Formerly known as the Queensland Railway Ambulance Corps (QRAC), the name changed to QR First Aid (QRFA) on 1 January 1992 and after the separation of QR Limited on 1 July 2010 it is known now as Railway First Aid Volunteers (RFAV).

Historical records support the fact that the Corps, in conjunction with the Order of St John, the Army Ambulance Corps, and the City Ambulance Transport Brigade (now the Queensland Ambulance Service), was among the first organisations dedicated to the advancement of first aid in Queensland. 

Here’s a brief outline of our history or click here to download a more detailed PowerPoint presentation. Our history is very important to us so if you have been a former member of the movement, and would like to contribute to our recorded history, please complete the attached form and return it to us.


  • 2 September - Queensland Railway Ambulance Corps (QRAC) is established.  (See article from Brisbane Courier 5 September 1892)
  • 12 October - formal approval and financial assistance is given by the Railway Commissioners provided the men conform to the Rules of the St John Society
  • 28 October - meeting held to receive the report of the provisional committee and to form the first ambulance class
  • December - QRAC first ambulance class held. Eighty-five applications were received with thirty railway employees accepted to attend the course.


  • The Thallon Medal Examination starts to challenge those participants in the top grouping.


  • The first Ambulance Officer of the QRAC (Austin Price SBStJ) is appointed due to the rapid growth of the Corps.
  • Competitions commenced


  • The seventh and last of the Ambulance Officers of the QRAC (Brian Dunstan CStJ) is appointed.  


  • Queensland Railways Ambulance Corps changes to Queensland Rail First Aid Services (QRFAS).   The role of Ambulance Officer changes to Senior First Aid Services Adviser.


  • The position of Senior First Aid Services Adviser, (formerly Ambulance Officer), was abolished and two First Aid Services Advisers take over the co-ordination of activities and managed the competitions. 


  • The Thallon Medal Centenary is conducted.


  • Separation of QR Limited 1 July 2010 into Queensland Rail and Aurizon


  • State First Aid Services Committee adopts a new name ‘Railway First Aid Volunteers’ for the Voluntary First Aid Movement and adopts the new committee name, ‘Railway First Aid Volunteers State Committee’


  • Establishment of Railway First Aid Volunteers a not-for-profit charity