The History

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The Public Attendances born from 1860 as laical and free associations of volunteers, having different names: Green Cross, White Cross, Gold Cross, Saving Society, Military Fraternity, Popular Fraternity.

From Sicily to Piedmont, unanimous in their engagement, the Public Attendances have not distinction of service, between poors and riches. They are available for anyone needs to be helped, with no conditions, and they are opened to all the people.
Unfortunately, the Fascism stopped the development of the movement; in 1930, by Royal Decrete, all the aid competences were transfered to the Italian Red Cross and all the associations without legal status were canceled.
After the war, the movement has been spontaneously recomposed and in 1946 in Milan there has been the first National Congress of the after-war period.
During the next 20-25 years there has been a slow but constant increasing.
In 1978 the renewing process of “National Federation between Public Attendances and Aid Associations” is at the top. The associations are always more active in the world of volunteers and the activities start to be different.
Then, in 1987, the statute has been changed and the name of the movement too, becoming the actual “A.N.P.AS. – Public Attendances National Associations”.
This change, besides the image, is the expression of an evolution which concerns the strengthening of a unitary concept of a great voluntary and solidarity movement, having considerable hystorical, geographical and cultural differences, to which more than one milion of persons adhere.
After the incredible increasing of associations, the Anpas can rely on 774 seats of Public Attendances, 87000 volunteers, more than one milion of associated, 1545000 emergency services and sanitary transports made during the year, 2700 ambulances, 500 vehicles for social-sanitary transport, great projects of international solidarity, as the “Chernobyl Project”, with the cooperation of “Help for Chernobyl Children” Foundation of Bielorussian.


the arrival of the industrial age and the consequent transformation of an agricultural economy in a system more complicated and complex, with production plants which attract to the big cities the rural people, has determined – in our region too – the rise of several problems concerning the need to assure a first assistance and aid service for workers in case of accidents on the working place.
The spontaneous initiatives rised inside the big plants and in the workers associations or thanks to manufacturers and sanitary provident operators, were decisive to constitute the first “Cross”.
After the first years of XXth Century, above institutions have been diffused in several places in Piedmont, having the purpose to operate following the social solidarity, the apolitical principle and without profit.
After the Green Cross of Turin (1907), quickly followed the “sisters” of Asti (1909), Nizza Monferrato (1910), Alessandria (1911), Pinerolo (1911) and White Cross of Acqui Terme (1919).
Thanks to “cycle-stretchers”, to ambulances pulled by horses, and to the first motorized ambulances, the solidarity culture started to increase in the people, through sacrifice and abnegation acts of citizen belonging to different social and cultural backgrounds.
A considerable obstacle to the Public Attendances growing in Piedmont was the world war, with the voluntary association regress in a region which had to be sacrificed to the exigences of a belligerant nation and to the social and economic problems existing after the first world war.
The Fascism, contrary to “free” associations, commanded the dissolution of Public Atttendances, with the absorption of people and means into the Red Cross.
The Green Cross of Turin only continued to operate and to maintain the “Public Attendance” flag.
For 10 years the associations were obliged to operate using false names but a few days after the “Liberation” the spirit which 40 years ago determined the rise of Public Attendances becomes to inspire again the people who, in a short time, contribute to resuscitate the “dissolved” associations.
It is the beginning of a new history that continues till today, with the rising and the consolidation of the Associations which, during the years, will be an “army” more numerous and “prepared” and will go to all the Region bringing the solidarity and participation message, improving himself in all the sectors (as the Civil Protection, the international solidarity, the information to the pepole…) in which they believe, to assure the contribute of a lot of people having the concept of solidarity as a concrete purpose to operate “not for law or for contract but for conscience”.

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