An ambulance is a medical emergency vehicle. It’s used to transport individuals in need of emergency medical care to healthcare facilities such as hospitals. Professionals known as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics may provide lifesaving or sustaining services to patients while in transport. Therefore, it’s important that these vehicles contain certain features that support such activities.

Ambulances have flashing lights and sirens to warn drivers and pedestrians of their approach in order to reach their destination more rapidly. Their most common design is similar to that of a van, though they also come in other forms such as cars, motorcycles, boats, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and golf carts.

An ambulance can be manufactured in full at plants by such auto companies as Ford, Toyota, Nissan, or Mercedes-Benz or they can be sold as an empty framework and completed by a second-stage manufacturer. In the second case, modifications can be built from scratch and added individually or a pre-built “box” can be inserted into the framework of the vehicle and then finished off.

Internal combustion engines power most ambulances. They can be fueled by gasoline, diesel fuel, or liquefied petroleum gas. Gasoline is usually the most common option in colder areas because of its ease in starting in frigid temperatures. Diesel is often more popular in warmer climates due to its safety, efficiency, and durability.

There are a number of features and equipment that are common to most ambulances. These include:
  • Mobile data terminal
  • Two-way radio
  • Evidence-gathering CCTV
  • Data recorders
  • Air conditioning
  • Trauma lighting
  • Ramp or tail lift
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