AMBULANCES part I international and special about Dutch Ambulances

 Star of life 2


VW Crafter Strobel ZZS JCKA modern van-based Volkswagen Crafterambulance in the Czech Republic

An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation, from or between places of treatment, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient. The word is often associated with road going emergency ambulances which form part of an emergency medical service, administering emergency care to those with acute medical problems.

The term ambulance does, however, extend to a wider range of vehicles other than those with flashing warning lights and sirens. The term also includes a large number of non-urgent ambulances which are for transport of patients without an urgent acute condition (see below: Functional types) and a wide range of urgent and non-urgent vehicles including trucks, vans, bicycles, motorbikes, station wagons, buses, helicoptersfixed-wing aircraft, boats, and even hospital ships (see below: Vehicle types).

The term ambulance comes from the Latin word “ambulare” as meaning “to walk or move about” which is a reference to early medical care where patients were moved by lifting or wheeling. The word originally meant a moving hospital, which follows an army in its movements. Ambulances (Ambulancias in Spanish) were first used for emergency transport in 1487 by the Spanish forces during the siege of Málaga by the Catholic Monarchs against the Emirate of Granada. During the American Civil War vehicles for conveying the wounded off the field of battle were called ambulance wagons. Field hospitals were still called ambulances during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and in the Serbo-Turkish war of 1876 even though the wagons were first referred to as ambulances about 1854 during the Crimean War.

There are other types of ambulance, with the most common being the patient transport ambulance (sometimes called an ambulette). These vehicles are not usually (although there are exceptions) equipped with life-support equipment, and are usually crewed by staff with fewer qualifications than the crew of emergency ambulances. Their purpose is simply to transport patients to, from or between places of treatment. In most countries, these are not equipped with flashing lights or sirens. In some jurisdictions there is a modified form of the ambulance used, that only carries one member of ambulance crew to the scene to provide care, but is not used to transport the patient. Such vehicles are called fly-cars. In these cases a patient who requires transportation to hospital will require a patient-carrying ambulance to attend in addition to the first responder.


1948 Cadillac Miller Meteor front passenger quarter DFVAC

Early car-based ambulances, like this 1948 Cadillac Meteor, were sometimes also used as hearses.

1949 FDNY ambulanceU.S. ambulance in 1949

The history of the ambulance begins in ancient times, with the use of carts to transport incurable patients by force. Ambulances were first used for emergency transport in 1487 by the Spanish, and civilian variants were put into operation during the 1830s. Advances in technology throughout the 19th and 20th centuries led to the modern self-powered ambulances.

Functional types

Ambulances can be grouped into types depending on whether or not they transport patients, and under what conditions. In some cases, ambulances may fulfil more than one function (such as combining emergency ambulance care with patient transport

Emergency ambulance – The most common type of ambulance, which provide care to patients with an acute illness or injury. These can be road-going vans, boats, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft (known as air ambulances) or even converted vehicles such as golf carts.

Patient transport ambulance – A vehicle, which has the job of transporting patients to, from or between places of medical treatment, such as hospital or dialysiscenter, for non-urgent care. These can be vans, buses or other vehicles.

Response unit – Also known as a fly-car or a [Quick Response Vehicle], which is a vehicle which is used to reach an acutely ill patient quickly, and provide on scene care, but lacks the capacity to transport the patient from the scene. Response units may be backed up by an emergency ambulance which can transport the patient, or may deal with the problem on scene, with no requirement for a transport ambulance. These can be a wide variety of vehicles, from standard cars, to modified vans, motorcycles, pedal cyclesquad bikes or horses. These units can function as a vehicle for officers or supervisors (similar to a fire chief’s vehicle, but for ambulance services). Fire & Rescue services in North America often staff EMTs or Paramedics to their apparatuses to provide medical care without the need to wait for an ambulance.

Charity ambulance – A special type of patient transport ambulance is provided by a charity for the purpose of taking sick children or adults on trips or vacations away from hospitals, hospices or care homes where they are in long term care. Examples include the United Kingdom’s ‘Jumbulance’ project. These are usually based on a bus.

Bariatric ambulance – A special type of patient transport ambulance designed for extremely obese patients equipped with the appropriate tools to move and manage these patients.

Vehicle types

In the US, there are four types of ambulances. There are Type I, Type II, Type III and Type IV. Type I is based upon a heavy truck chassis and is used primarily for Advanced Life Support and rescue work. Type II is a van based ambulance with little modifications except for a raised roof. Its use is for basic life support and transfer of patients. The Type III is a van chassis but with a custom made rear compartment and has the same use as Type I ambulances. Type IV’s are nomenclature for smaller ad hoc patient transfer using smaller utility vehicles where passenger vehicles and trucks would have difficulty in traversing, such as large industrial complexes, commercial venues, and special events with large crowds. These do not, generally, fall under Federal Regulations.

Ambulances can be based on many types of vehicle, although emergency and disaster conditions may lead to other vehicles serving as makeshift ambulances:

Medic 291A Modern American Ambulance built on the Chassis of a Ford F-450 truck

Van or pickup truck – A typical ambulance is based on either the chassis of a van (vanbulance) or pickup truck. This chassis is then modified to the designs and specifications of the purchaser.

Car/SUV – Used either as a fly-car for rapid response or for patients who can sit, these are standard car models adapted to the requirements of the service using them. Some cars are capable of taking a stretcher with a recumbent patient, but this often requires the removal of the front passenger seat, or the use of a particularly long car. This was often the case with early ambulances, which were converted (or even serving) hearses, as these were some of the few vehicles able to accept a human body in a supine position.

Motorcycle – In developed areas, these are used for rapid response in an emergency as they can travel through heavy traffic much faster than a car or van. Trailers or sidecars can make these patient transporting units. See also motorcycle ambulance.

HSE NAS Emergency Ambulance at a scene in DublinMercedes-Benz Sprinter ambulance of the HSE National ambulance service in Ireland. This type of ambulance is typically used in England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Bicycle – Used for response, but usually in pedestrian-only areas where large vehicles find access difficult. Like the motorcycle ambulance, a bicycle may be connected to a trailer for patient transport, most often in the developing world. See also cycle responder.

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) – for example quad bikes; these are used for response off-road, especially at events. ATVs can be modified to carry a stretcher, and are used for tasks such as mountain rescue in inaccessible areas.

Golf cart or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle – Used for rapid response at events or on campuses. These function similarly to ATVs, with less rough terrain capability, but with less noise.

Helicopter – Usually used for emergency care, either in places inaccessible by road, or in areas where speed is of the essence, as they are able to travel significantly faster than a road ambulance. Helicopter and fixed-wing ambulances are discussed in greater detail at air ambulance.

Fixed-wing aircraft – These can be used for either acute emergency care in remote areas (such as in Australia, with the ‘Flying Doctors‘), for patient transport over long distances (e.g. a re-patriation following an illness or injury in a foreign country), or transportation between distant hospitals. Helicopter and fixed-wing ambulances are discussed in greater detail at air ambulance.

Boat – Boats can be used to serve as ambulances, especially in island areas or in areas with a large number of canals, such as the Venetianwater ambulances. Some lifeboats or lifeguard vessels may fit the description of an ambulance as they are used to transport a casualty.

Ship – Ships can be used as hospital ships, mostly operated by national military services, although some ships are operated by charities. They can meet the definition of ambulances as they provide transport to the sick and wounded (along with treatment). They are often sent to disaster or war zones to provide care for the casualties of these events.

Bus – In some cases, buses can be used for multiple casualty transport, either for the purposes of taking patients on journeys, in the context of major incidents, or to deal with specific problems such as drunken patients in town centres.Ambulance busses are discussed at greater length in their own article.

Trailer – In some instances a trailer, which can be towed behind a self-propelled vehicle can be used. This permits flexibility in areas with minimal access to vehicles, such as on small islands.

Horse and cart – Especially in developing world areas, more traditional methods of transport include transport such as horse and cart, used in much the same way as motorcycle or bicycle stretcher units to transport to a local clinic.

Hospital train – Early hospital trains functioned to carry large numbers of wounded soldiers. Similar to other ambulance types, as Western medicine developed, hospital trains gained the ability to provide treatment. In some rural locations, hospital trains now function as mobile hospitals, traveling by rail from one location to the next, then parking on a siding to provide hospital services to the local population. Hospital trains also find use in disaster response

Fire Engine – Fire services (especially in North America) often train Firefighters in emergency medicine and most apparatuses carry at least basic medical supplies. By design, apparatuses cannot transport patients.

Vehicle type gallery

Design and construction

Ambulance design must take into account local conditions and infrastructure. Maintained roads are necessary for road going ambulances to arrive on scene and then transport the patient to a hospital, though in rugged areas four-wheel drive or all-terrain vehicles can be used. Fuel must be available and service facilities are necessary to maintain the vehicle.

Car-based ambulance in Sweden

Truck-based ambulance in Columbus, Ohio using a pre-built box system

Methods of summoning (e.g. telephone) and dispatching ambulances usually rely on electronic equipment, which itself often relies on an intact power grid. Similarly, modern ambulances are equipped with two-way radios or cellular telephones to enable them to contact hospitals, either to notify the appropriate hospital of the ambulance’s pending arrival, or, in cases where physicians do not form part of the ambulance’s crew, to confer with a physician for medical oversight.

Ambulances often have two manufacturers. The first is frequently a manufacturer of light trucks or full-size vans (or previously, cars) such as Mercedes-BenzNissanToyota, or Ford. The second manufacturer (known as second stage manufacturer) purchases the vehicle (which is sometimes purchased incomplete, having no body or interior behind the driver’s seat) and turns it into an ambulance by adding bodywork, emergency vehicle equipment, and interior fittings. This is done by one of two methods – either coachbuilding, where the modifications are started from scratch and built on to the vehicle, or using a modular system, where a pre-built ‘box’ is put on to the empty chassis of the ambulance, and then finished off.

Modern ambulances are typically powered by internal combustion engines, which can be powered by any conventional fuel, including diesel, gasoline or liquefied petroleum gas, depending on the preference of the operator and the availability of different options. Colder regions often use gasoline-powered engines, as diesels can be difficult to start when they are cold. Warmer regions may favor diesel engines, as they are thought to be more efficient and more durable. Diesel power is sometimes chosen due to safety concerns, after a series of fires involving gasoline-powered ambulances during the 1980s. These fires were ultimately attributed in part to gasoline’s higher volatility in comparison to diesel fuel. The type of engine may be determined by the manufacturer: in the past two decades, Ford would only sell vehicles for ambulance conversion if they are diesel-powered. Beginning in 2010, Ford will sell its ambulance chassis with a gasoline engine in order to meet emissions requirements.


Many regions have prescribed standards which ambulances should, or must, meet in order to be used for their role. These standards may have different levels which reflect the type of patient which the ambulance is expected to transport (for instance specifying a different standard for routine patient transport than high dependency), or may base standards on the size of vehicle.

For instance, in Europe, the European Committee for Standardization publishes the standard CEN 1789, which specifies minimum compliance levels across the build of ambulance, including crash resistance, equipment levels, and exterior marking. In the United States, standards for ambulance design have existed since 1976, where the standard is published by the General Services Administration and known as KKK-1822-A. This standard has been revised several times, and is currently in version ‘F’ change #10, known as KKK-A-1822F, although not all states have adopted this version. The National Fire Protection Association has also published a design standard, NFPA 1917, which some administrations are considering switching to if KKK-A-1822F is withdrawn. The Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) has published its Ground Vehicle Standard for Ambulances effective July 2016. This standard is similar to the KKK-A-1822F and NFPA 1917-2016 specifications.

The move towards standardisation is now reaching countries without a history of prescriptive codes, such as India, which approved its first national standard for ambulance construction in 2013.


File:Crash Testing an Ambulance.webm
 A video on ambulance crash testing

Ambulances, like other emergency vehicles, are required to operate in all weather conditions, including those during which civilian drivers often elect to stay off the road. Also, the ambulance crew’s responsibilities to their patient often preclude their use of safety devices such as seat belts. Research has shown that ambulances are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions resulting in injury or death than either fire trucks or police cars. Unrestrained occupants, particularly those riding in the patient-care compartment, are particularly vulnerable. When compared to civilian vehicles of similar size, one study found that on a per-accident basis, ambulance collisions tend to involve more people, and result in more injuries. An 11-year retrospective study concluded in 2001 found that although most fatal ambulance crashes occurred during emergency runs, they typically occurred on improved, straight, dry roads, during clear weather. Furthermore, paramedics are also at risk in ambulances while helping patients, as 27 paramedics died during ambulance trips in the US between 1991 and 2006.


Interior of a mobile intensive care unit (MICU) ambulance from Graz, Austria

Four stages of deployment on an inboard ambulance tail lift

In addition to the equipment directly used for the treatment of patients, ambulances may be fitted with a range of additional equipment which is used in order to facilitate patient care. This could include:

Two-way radio – One of the most important pieces of equipment in modern emergency medical services as it allows for the issuing of jobs to the ambulance, and can allow the crew to pass information back to control or to the hospital (for example a priority ASHICE message to alert the hospital of the impending arrival of a critical patient.) More recently many services worldwide have moved from traditional analog UHF/VHF sets, which can be monitored externally, to more secure digital systems, such as those working on a GSM system, such as TETRA.

Mobile data terminal – Some ambulances are fitted with Mobile data terminals (or MDTs), which are connected wirelessly to a central computer, usually at the control center. These terminals can function instead of or alongside the two-way radio and can be used to pass details of jobs to the crew, and can log the time the crew was mobile to a patient, arrived, and left scene, or fulfill any other computer based function.

Evidence gathering CCTV – Some ambulances are now being fitted with video cameras used to record activity either inside or outside the vehicle. They may also be fitted with sound recording facilities. This can be used as a form of protection from violence against ambulance crews, or in some cases (dependent on local laws) to prove or disprove cases where a member of crew stands accused of malpractice.

Tail lift or ramp – Ambulances can be fitted with a tail lift or ramp in order to facilitate loading a patient without having to undertake any lifting. This is especially important where the patient is obese or specialty care transports that require large, bulky equipment such as a neonatal incubator or hospital beds. There may also be equipment linked to this such as winches which are designed to pull heavy patients into the vehicle.

Trauma lighting – In addition to normal working lighting, ambulances can be fitted with special lighting (often blue or red) which is used when the patient becomes photosensitive.

Air conditioning – Ambulances are often fitted with a separate air conditioning system to serve the working area from that which serves the cab. This helps to maintain an appropriate temperature for any patients being treated, but may also feature additional features such as filtering against airborne pathogens.

Data Recorders – These are often placed in ambulances to record such information as speed, braking power and time, activation of active emergency warnings such as lights and sirens, as well as seat belt usage. These are often used in coordination with GPS units.

Intermediate technology

In parts of the world which lack a high level of infrastructure, ambulances are designed to meet local conditions, being built using intermediate technology. Ambulances can also be trailers, which are pulled by bicycles, motorcycles, tractors, or animals. Animal-powered ambulances can be particularly useful in regions that are subject to flooding. Motorcycles fitted with sidecars (or motorcycle ambulances) are also used, though they are subject to some of the same limitations as more traditional over-the-road ambulances. The level of care provided by these ambulances varies between merely providing transport to a medical clinic to providing on-scene and continuing care during transport.

The design of intermediate technology ambulances must take into account not only the operation and maintenance of the ambulance, but its construction as well. The robustness of the design becomes more important, as does the nature of the skills required to properly operate the vehicle. Cost-effectiveness can be a high priority.

Appearance and markings

An ambulance on an oncoming lane in Moscow

Emergency ambulances are highly likely to be involved in hazardous situations, including incidents such as a road traffic collision, as these emergencies create people who are likely to be in need of treatment. They are required to gain access to patients as quickly as possible, and in many countries, are given dispensation from obeying certain traffic laws. For instance, they may be able to treat a red traffic light or stop sign as a yield sign (‘give way’), or be permitted to break the speed limit. Generally, the priority of the response to the call will be assigned by the dispatcher, but the priority of the return will be decided by the ambulance crew based on the severity of the patient’s illness or injury. Patients in significant danger to life and limb (as determined by triage) require urgent treatment by advanced medical personnel, and because of this need, emergency ambulances are often fitted with passive and active visual and/or audible warnings to alert road users.

Passive visual warnings

North West Ambulance Serviceambulance displays reversed wording and the Star of Life, with flashing blue grille lights and wig-waggingheadlamps

The passive visual warnings are usually part of the design of the vehicle, and involve the use of high contrast patterns. Older ambulances (and those in developing countries) are more likely to have their pattern painted on, whereas modern ambulances generally carry retro-reflective designs, which reflects light from car headlights or torches. Popular patterns include ‘checker board’ (alternate coloured squares, sometimes called ‘Battenburg‘, named after a type of cake), chevrons (arrowheads – often pointed towards the front of the vehicle if on the side, or pointing vertically upwards on the rear) or stripes along the side (these were the first type of retro-reflective device introduced, as the original reflective material, invented by 3M, only came in tape form). In addition to retro-reflective markings, some services now have the vehicles painted in a bright (sometimes fluorescent) yellow or orange for maximum visual impact, though classic white or red are also common. Fire Department-operated Ambulances are often painted similarly to their apparatuses for ease of identification and the fact that bright red is a very striking color appropriate for this type of vehicle.

Another passive marking form is the word ambulance (or local language variant) spelled out in reverse on the front of the vehicle. This enables drivers of other vehicles to more easily identify an approaching ambulance in their rear view mirrors. Ambulances may display the name of their owner or operator, and an emergency telephone number for the ambulance service.

Ambulances may also carry an emblem (either as part of the passive warning markings or not), such as a Red Cross, Red Crescent or Red Crystal (collective known as the Protective Symbols). These are symbols laid down by the Geneva Convention, and all countries signatory to it agree to restrict their use to either (1) Military Ambulances or (2) the national Red Cross or Red Crescent society. Use by any other person, organization or agency is in breach of international law. The protective symbols are designed to indicate to all people (especially combatants in the case of war) that the vehicle is neutral and is not to be fired upon, hence giving protection to the medics and their casualties, although this has not always been adhered to. In Israel, Magen David Adom, the Red Cross member organization use a red Star of David, but this does not have recognition beyond Israeli borders, where they must use the Red Crystal.

The Star of Life represents emergency medical services.

The Star of Life is widely used, and was originally designed and governed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, because the Red Cross symbol is legally protected by both National and international law. It indicates that the vehicle’s operators can render their given level of care represented on the six pointed star.

Ambulance services that have historical origins such as the Order of St John, the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps and Malteser International often use the Maltese cross to identify their ambulances. This is especially important in countries such as Australia, where St. John Ambulance operate one state and one territory ambulance service, and all of Australia’s other ambulance services use variations on a red Maltese cross.

Fire service operated ambulances may display the Cross of St. Florian (often incorrectly called a Maltese cross) as this cross is frequently used as a fire department logo (St. Florian being the patron saint of firefighters).

Active visual warnings

An ambulance in Denmark with roof-integrated LED lights, plus side-view mirror, grill and front fend-off lights, and fog lamps wig-wags

The active visual warnings are usually in the form of flashing lights. These flash in order to attract the attention of other road users as the ambulance approaches, or to provide warning to motorists approaching a stopped ambulance in a dangerous position on the road. Common colours for ambulance warning beacons are blue, red, amber, and white (clear). However the colours may vary by country and sometimes by operator.

There are several technologies in use to achieve the flashing effect. These include flashing a light bulb or LED, flashing or rotating halogen, and strobe lights, which are usually brighter than incandescent lights. Each of these can be programmed to flash singly or in groups, and can be programmed to flash in patterns (such as a left -> right pattern for use when the ambulance is parked on the left hand side of the road, indicating to other road users that they should move to the right (away from the ambulance)). Incandescent and LED lights may also be programmed to burn steadily, without flashing, which is required in some provinces.

Emergency lights may simply be mounted directly on the body, or may be housed in special fittings, such as in a lightbar or in special flush-mount designs (as seen on the Danish ambulance to the right), or may be hidden in a host light (such as a headlamp) by drilling a hole in the host light’s reflector and inserting the emergency light. These hidden lights may not be apparent until they are activated. Additionally, some of the standard lights fitted to an ambulance (e.g. headlamps, tail lamps) may be programmed to flash. Flashing headlights (typically the high beams, flashed alternately) are known as a wig-wag.

In order to increase safety, it is best practice to have 360° coverage with the active warnings, improving the chance of the vehicle being seen from all sides. In some countries, such as the United States, this may be mandatory. The roof, front grille, sides of the body, and front fenders are common places to mount emergency lights. A certain balance must be made when deciding on the number and location of lights: too few and the ambulance may not be noticed easily, too many and it becomes a massive distraction for other road users more than it is already, increasing the risk of local accidents.

See also Emergency vehicle equipment.

Audible warnings


A Whelen(R) siren with wailyelpand phaser tones is a common sound in many cities

In addition to visual warnings, ambulances can be fitted with audible warnings, sometimes known as sirens, which can alert people and vehicles to the presence of an ambulance before they can be seen. The first audible warnings were mechanical bells, mounted to either the front or roof of the ambulance. Most modern ambulances are now fitted with electronic sirens, producing a range of different noises which ambulance operators can use to attract more attention to themselves, particularly when proceeding through an intersection or in heavy traffic.

The speakers for modern sirens can be integral to the lightbar, or they may be hidden in or flush to the grill to reduce noise inside the ambulance that may interfere with patient care and radio communications. Ambulances can additionally be fitted with airhorn audible warnings to augment the effectiveness of the siren system, or may be fitted with extremely loud two-tone airhorns as their primary siren.

A recent development is the use of the RDS system of car radios. The ambulance is fitted with a short range FM transmitter, set to RDS code 31, which interrupts the radio of all cars within range, in the manner of a traffic broadcast, but in such a way that the user of the receiving radio is unable to opt out of the message (as with traffic broadcasts). This feature is built into every RDS radio for use in national emergency broadcast systems, but short range units on emergency vehicles can prove an effective means of alerting traffic to their presence. It is, however, unlikely that this system could replace audible warnings, as it is unable to alert pedestrians, those not using a compatible radio or even have it turned off.

Service providers

An ambulance from St John Ambulance WA in Perth

A volunteer ambulance crew in Modena, Italy

A city fire service ambulance from the Tokyo Fire Department.

Non-acute patient transport ambulance from New Zealand.

Some countries closely regulate the industry (and may require anyone working on an ambulance to be qualified to a set level), whereas others allow quite wide differences between types of operator.

Government Ambulance Service – Operating separately from (although alongside) the fire and police service of the area, these ambulances are funded by local or national government. In some countries, these only tend to be found in big cities, whereas in countries such as the United Kingdom almost all emergency ambulances are part of a nationwide system under the National Health Service. In Canada ambulance services are normally operated by local municipalities or provincial health agencies as a separate entity from fire or police services.

Fire or Police Linked Service – In countries such as the United States, Japan, Hong Kong and France ambulances can be operated by the local fire or police service, more commonly the fire service due to overlapping calls. This is particularly common in rural areas, where maintaining a separate service is not necessarily cost effective, or by service preference such as in Los Angeles where the Los Angeles Fire Department prefers to handle all parts of emergency medicine in-house. In some cases this can lead to an illness or injury being attended by a vehicle other than an ambulance, such as a fire truck, and firefighters must maintain higher standards of medical capability.

Volunteer Ambulance Service – Charities or non-profit companies operate ambulances, both in an emergency and patient transport function. This may be along similar lines to volunteer fire companies, providing the main service for an area, and either community or privately owned. They may be linked to a voluntary fire department, with volunteers providing both services. There are charities who focus on providing ambulances for the community, or for cover at private events (sports etc.). The Red Cross provides this service across the world on a volunteer basis. (and in others as a Private Ambulance Service), as do other organisations such as St John Ambulance and the Order of Malta Ambulance Corps. These volunteer ambulances may be seen providing support to the full-time ambulance crews during times of emergency. In some cases the volunteer charity may employ paid members of staff alongside volunteers to operate a full-time ambulance service, such in some parts of Australia and in Ireland and New Zealand.

Private Ambulance Service – Normal commercial companies with paid employees, but often on contract to the local or national government. Private companies may provide only the patient transport elements of ambulance care (i.e. nonurgent or ambulatory transport), but in some places, they are contracted to provide emergency care, or to form a ‘second tier’ response. In many areas private services cover all emergency transport functions and government agencies do not provide this service. Companies such as FalckAcadian Ambulance, and American Medical Response are some of the larger companies that provide such services. These organisations may also provide services known as ‘Stand-by’ cover at industrial sites or at special events. From April 2011 all private ambulance services in the UK must be Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered. Private services in Canada operate non-emergency patient transfers or for private functions only.

Combined Emergency Service – these are full service emergency service agencies, which may be found in places such as airports or large colleges and universities. Their key feature is that all personnel are trained not only in ambulance (EMT) care, but as a firefighter and a peace officer (police function). They may be found in smaller towns and cities, where size or budget does not warrant separate services. This multi-functionality allows to make the most of limited resource or budget, but having a single team respond to any emergency.

Hospital Based Service – Hospitals may provide their own ambulance service as a service to the community, or where ambulance care is unreliable or chargeable. Their use would be dependent on using the services of the providing hospital.

Charity Ambulance – This special type of ambulance is provided by a charity for the purpose of taking sick children or adults on trips or vacations away from hospitals, hospices or care homes where they are in long term care. Examples include the UK’s ‘Jumbulance’ project.

Company Ambulance – Many large factories and other industrial centres, such as chemical plantsoil refineriesbreweries and distilleries, have ambulance services provided by employers as a means of protecting their interests and the welfare of their staff. These are often used as first response vehicles in the event of a fire or explosion.


The cost of an ambulance ride may be paid for from several sources, and this will depend on the type of service being provided, by whom, and possibly who to.

Government funded service – The full or the majority of the cost of transport by ambulance is borne by the local, regional, or national government (through their normal taxation).

Privately funded service – Transport by ambulance is paid for by the patient themselves, or through their insurance company. This may be at the point of care (i.e. payment or guarantee must be made before treatment or transport), although this may be an issue with critically injured patients, unable to provide such details, or via a system of billing later on.

Charity funded service – Transport by ambulance may be provided free of charge to patients by a charity, although donations may be sought for services received.

Hospital funded service – Hospitals may provide the ambulance transport free of charge, on the condition that patients use the hospital’s services (which they may have to pay for).


Various ambulance crews help to load a patient into an air ambulance in Pretoria

There are differing levels of qualification that the ambulance crew may hold, from holding no formal qualification to having a fully qualified doctor on board. Most ambulance services require at least two crew members to be on every ambulance (one to drive, and one to attend the patient), although response cars may have a sole crew member, possibly backed up by another double-crewed ambulance. It may be the case that only the attendant need be qualified, and the driver might have no medical training. In some locations, an advanced life support ambulance may be crewed by one paramedic and one EMT-Basic.

Common ambulance crew qualifications are:

  1. First responder – A person who arrives first at the scene of an incident, and whose job is to provide early critical care such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR) or using an automated external defibrillator (AED). First responders may be dispatched by the ambulance service, may be passers-by, or may be dispatched to the scene from other agencies, such as the police or fire departments.
  2. Ambulance Driver – Some services employ staff with no medical qualification (or just a first aid certificate) whose job is to simply drive the patients from place to place. In some emergency ambulance contexts this term is a pejorative toward qualified providers implying that they perform no function but driving, although it may be acceptable for patient transport or community operations. In some areas, these drivers would survey and study the local network of routes for better performance of service, as some road routes may be blocked, and the driver must know another route to the patient or to the hospital. The driver would gather the local weather and traffic status reports before and in-between emergencies. They may also have training in using the radio and knowing where medical supplies are stored in the ambulance.
  3. Ambulance Care Assistant – Have varying levels of training across the world, but these staff are usually only required to perform patient transport duties (which can include stretcher or wheelchaircases), rather than acute care. Dependent on provider, they may be trained in first aid or extended skills such as use of an AED, oxygen therapy and other lifesaving or palliative skills. They may provide emergency cover when other units are not available, or when accompanied by a fully qualified technician or paramedic.
  4. Emergency Care Assistant/Emergency Care Support Workers – Also known as ECA/ECSW are members of a frontline ambulance that drive the vehicles under both emergency and non-emergency conditions to incidents. Their role is to assist the clinician that they are working with, either a Technician or Paramedic, in their duties, whether that be drawing up drugs, setting up fluids (but not attaching), doing basic observations or performing 12 lead ECG assessments.
  5. Emergency medical technician – Also known as Ambulance Technician. Technicians are usually able to perform a wide range of emergency care skills, such as defibrillation, spinal immobilization, bleeding control, splinting of suspected fractures, assisting the patient with certain medications, and oxygen therapy. Some countries split this term into levels (such as in the US, where there is EMT-Basic and EMT-Intermediate).
  6. Registered nurse (RN) – Nurses can be involved in ambulance work dependent on the jurisdiction, and as with doctors, this is mostly as air-medical rescuers often in conjunction with a technician or paramedic. They may bring different skills to the care of the patient, especially those who may be critically ill or injured in locations that do not enjoy close proximity to a high level of definitive care such as trauma, cardiac, or stroke centers.
  7. Paramedic – This is a high level of medical training and usually involves key skills not permissible for technicians, such as cannulation (and with it the ability to administer a range of drugs such as morphine), tracheal intubation and other skills such as performing a cricothyrotomy. Dependent on jurisdiction, the title “paramedic” can be a protected title, and use of it without the relevant qualification may result in criminal prosecution.
  8. Emergency Care Practitioner – This position, sometimes called ‘Super Paramedic’ in the media, is designed to bridge the link between ambulance care and the care of a general practitioner. ECPs are already qualified paramedics who have undergone further training, and are trained to prescribe medicines for longer term care, such as antibiotics, as well as being trained in a range of additional diagnostic techniques.
  9. Doctor – Doctors are present on some ambulances – most notably air ambulances – will employ physicians to attend on the ambulances, bringing a full range of additional skills such as use of prescription medicines.

Military use

An URO VAMTAC ambulance of the Spanish Army emblazoned with the Red Cross

1917 Red Cross ambulance

Military ambulances have historically included vehicles based on civilian designs and at times also included armored, but unarmed, vehicles ambulances based upon armoured personnel carriers (APCs). In the Second World War vehicles such as the Hanomag Sd Kfz 251 halftrack were pressed into service as ad hoc ambulances, and in more recent times purpose built AFVs such as the U.S. M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicle serve the exclusive purpose of armored medical vehicles. Civilian based designs may be painted in appropriate colours, depending on the operational requirements (i.e. camouflage for field use, white for United Nations peacekeeping, etc.). For example, the British Royal Army Medical Corps has a fleet of white ambulances, based on production trucks. Military helicopters have also served both as ad hoc and purpose-built air ambulances, since they are extremely useful for MEDEVAC. In terms of equipment, military ambulances are barebones, often being nothing more than a box on wheels with racks to place manual stretchers, though for the operational conditions and level of care involved this is usually sufficient.

Since laws of war demand ambulances be marked with one of the Emblems of the Red Cross not to mount offensive weapons, military ambulances are often unarmed. It is a generally accepted practice in most countries to classify the personnel attached to military vehicles marked as ambulances as non-combatants; however, this application does not always exempt medical personnel from catching enemy fire—accidental or deliberate. As a result, medics and other medical personnel attached to military ambulances are usually put through basic military training, on the assumption that they may have to use a weapon. The laws of war do allow non-combatant military personnel to carry individual weapons for protecting themselves and casualties. However, not all militaries exercise this right to their personnel.

USNS Mercy, a U.S. Navy hospital ship

Recently, the Israeli Defense Forces has modified a number of its Merkava main battle tanks with ambulance features in order to allow rescue operations to take place under heavy fire in urban warfare. The modifications were made following a failed rescue attempt in which Palestinian gunmen killed two soldiers who were providing aid for a Palestinian woman in Rafah. Since M-113 armored personnel carriers and regular up-armored ambulances are not sufficiently protected against anti-tankweapons and improvised explosive devices, it was decided to use the heavily armored Merkava tank. Its rear door enables the evacuation of critically wounded soldiers. Israel did not remove the Merkava’s weaponry, claiming that weapons were more effective protection than emblems since Palestinian militants would disregard any symbols of protection and fire at ambulances anyway. For use as ground ambulances and treatment & evacuation vehicles, the United States military currently employs the M113, the M577, the M1133Stryker Medical Evacuation Vehicle (MEV), and the RG-33 Heavily Armored Ground Ambulance (HAGA) as treatment and evacuation vehicles, with contracts to incorporate the newly designed M2A0 Armored Medical Evacuation Vehicle (AMEV), a variant of the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (formerly known as the ATTV).

Some navies operate ocean-going hospital ships to lend medical assistance in high casualty situations like wars or natural disasters. These hospital ships fulfill the criteria of an ambulance (transporting the sick or injured), although the capabilities of a hospital ship are more on par with a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. In line with the laws of war, these ships can display a prominent Red Cross or Red Crescent to confer protection under the appropriate Geneva convention. However, this designation has not always protected hospital ships from enemy fire.

Reuse of retired ambulances

Retired ambulances may find reuse in less-demanding emergency services, such as this logistics unit, such as this Ford E-Series ambulance.

When an ambulance is retired, it may be donated or sold to another EMS provider. Alternately, it may be adapted into a storage and transport vehicle for crime scene identification equipment, a command post at community events, or support vehicle, such as a logistics unit. Others are refurbished and resold, or may just have their emergency equipment removed to be sold to private businesses or individuals, who then can use them as small recreational vehicles.

Toronto‘s City Council has begun a “Caravan of Hope” project to provide retired Toronto ambulances a second life by donating them to the people of El Salvador. Since the Province of Ontario requires that ambulances be retired after just four and a half years in service in Ontario, the City of Toronto decommissions and auctions 28 ambulances each year.

Ambulances in the Netherlands:

1905 Belgische Germain 24 H.P

1905-30 Mobil Ambulance Dinas Kesehatan Gemeente Batavia

1909 De Spyker ambulances voor het Roode Kruis

1909 SPIJKER Ambulance amsterdam redcross lehmann trompenburg

1909 spyker ambulance van het rode kruis rode kruisziekenhuis den haag

1909 spyker rodekruis

1909 ziekenauto is een Fiat

1909 ziekenauto red cross

1909 fiat kroeskop meppel

1912 Spijker 16pk, de ziekenauto in die tijd in Rheden

1912-14 Adler betreft met zeer waarschijnlijk een carroserie v d N.V. Fabriek voor luxe rijtuigen en automobielen vh gebroeders H & F Kimman De nieuwe Haarlemsche ziekenauto zijingang

1912-14 Adler betreft met zeer waarschijnlijk een carroserie v d N.V. Fabriek voor luxe rijtuigen en automobielen vh gebroeders H & F Kimman De nieuwe Haarlemsche ziekenauto zijingang

1912-1913 Fiat of Opel Ambulance Groningen-bakker-emmamij-1913-2

1914 Spyker

1915 Leeuwarder ziekenauto (spyker)

1916 ford-t-ambulances-st-vincents-web

1917 Ford Model T Army ambulance

1918 FIAT de eerste ziekenauto van Kroeskop in Meppel

1918 Ford T Ambulance

1920 Dodge Brothers model 30 Ambulance Zuid Holland Wateringen H-31364

1920 Dodge Brothers model 30 Ambulance Zuid Holland Wateringen H-31364

1920 Dodge Brothers model 30 Ambulance Zuid Holland Wateringen H-31364

1920 Dodge Brothers Ziekenauto

1920 Oudkerkhof Utrecht. De ziekenauto van de GGD rukt uit (HUA)

1920 Spyker and Maybach

1920-25 Gemeentelijke Geneeskundige Dienst bij een drenkeling langs het Merwedekanaal te Utrecht

1926 Ziekenauto Vlaardingen

1927 Gemeentelijke Gezonheidsdienst Ziekenauto te Batavia

1927 ziekenauto gebaseerd op een T Ford vracht auto chassis

1928 chevrolet-ambulance-700

1928 Dodge brothers ziekenauto NL

1928 Morris Commercial T Type Tonner

1928 Studebaker type D5521 carr Jan Karsijns NL

1929 Cadillac serie 353 Kijlstra Drachten NL

1929 Eerste ziekenauto Hilversum 3 nov 1929

1930 Burgemeester Troost Waddinxveen met ziekenauto in 1930 met chauffeur v.Gelder NL

1930 Cadillac Ambulance v Leersum NL

1931 Cadillac B21473 de Vrij Leeuwarden Serie 341B NL

1934 Ambulance Adler Standard 8 B-20341 NL

1934 Lincoln type KB B-21473 W de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1936 Cadillac series Rust Groningen de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1936 Chevrolet Matane 1940, première ambulance Leon Sihors NL

1937 Hudson ambulance NL

1938 Het Sint Jozefziekenhuis beschikt over een Vauxhall ambulance NL

1938 Mercedes-Benz L1500E NL ?

1939 Packard Ziekenauto op Storkterrein Hengelo NL



NIOD01_AE0218, 13-03-2002, 15:52, 8C, 4799×3362 (1508+3887), 100%, niod poster fo, 1/60 s, R57.0, G17.4, B17.9

1940 Ziekenauto Bedrijfsongeval Demka fabrieken te Zuilen NL

1941 1e-ambulance-peugeot-d4b-carr-visser NL

1942 Austin K2HZ77982 Visser de Vries Assen NL

1942 chevrolet-ambulance de Vries Assen NL

1943 Amerikaanse Dodge WC54 Ambulance 2nd WW NL

1944 Cadillac multifunctionele zieken, doden, brandweer en taxiauto Ommen NL

1945 Austin K2 NL

1945 Chevrolet ziekenauto GG&GD Amsterdam NL collectie Jan Korte

1947 Cadillac Fleetwood kent Compaan Poepe Assen Holten Reinders Roden NL

1947 Ziekenauto uit Sneek Chauffeur was T.J Vallinga. met Packard uit 1947

1948 Ford ambulance-ziekenauto, die bemand werd door de verpleger-chauffeur Bolks NL

1948 Ford ? Ziekenauto Drachten NL

1949 Chevrolet GK2100 TG3225 De Boer Co Assen De Vries Assen NL

1949 gezondheidsdienst. G.G.D. boot in het water en de ziekenauto op de kant. Het was een repetitie in 1949

1950 Packard 1950 Buick en Buick De Vrij Zuiderplein Lw NL

1950 Packard de luxe supereight ambulance NL

1950 Packard de luxe supereight ambulance carr. de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1950 van links naar rechts de Packard DeLuxe Super Eight uit 1950, de Buick Roadmaster uit 1955 en de Buick Super Series 50-70

1953 Mercedes-Benz ambulance NT-72-51 NL

1955 Buick Ambulance by de Vrij Leeuwarden SG-08-01  NL

1955 Ford Type 79B Country Sedan SP8342 Compaan Poepe Assen De Vries Assen NL

1956 Buick Roadmaster de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1958 Buick Limited Series 700 met kenteken ZD-57-31 NL

1958 Cadillac Ambulance de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1959 Verschillende Ambulances NL

Cadillac Ambulance

1960 Cadillac type BT6246 DT2956 Smit Joure de Vrij Leeuwarden NL

1964 Chevrolet Ziekenauto van de GG en GD Voorburg

1964 Ford Transit FK1000 UN5697 carr St Pancras KW1

1965 Mercedes-Benz 190 Ambulance NL

1965 Mercedes Benz LP 1213 truck from the steered front axle series, medium-duty class1965 Peugeot 403 Pickup D4B Bus Ambulance Brochure

1965 Peugeot D4B Ambulance gemeente Texel

1966 Ford Transit 8999 BV Ambulance carrosserie de Vries Assen NL

1966 Mercedes Benz Ambulance NL

1967 Citroën ID 19 Ambulance NL

1967 Mercedes 230 Ambulance

1967 Opel Admiraal ziekenauto Geleen opel kapitein NL

1967-68 Mercedes Benz 230 amb 84-91-FM

Miesen, 1968

1968-mercedes-benz-limousine ambulance-114-115 car. Miesen NL

1967 peugeot-j7-ambulance-verkoop-brochure

1967-76 Mercedes-Benz W114-115 84-83-UL Visser Leeuwarden NL

1969 Citroën hy-ambulance NL

1968 Mercedes-Benz ambulance Visser, Leeuwarden ZS-97-16

1969 20-93-JM MERCEDES-BENZ W114 230 BINZ Ambulance NL

1969 Peugeot-J7-Ambulance NL

1971 Merc Benz 220

1970 Bedford Ambulance HY-91-JT NL

1971 Mercedes W114 Ambulance NL

1971 Mercedes-Benz W122 5735RR Visser de Vries Assen NL

1971 peugeot-j7-ambulance-carrosserie-visser-standplaats-schiphol NL 1972 Mercedes W114 230 Visser Ambulance NL

1974 M38A1-NEKAF-Nederlandse-Kaiser-Frazer-Fabrieken-Rotterdam-Ambulance-Royal-Dutch-Army-1974-Jan-W.-Michielsenweb

1975 Dodge B200 56GF46 Visser de Vries Assen NL

1975 Dodge van 08GK53 Akkermans de Vries Assen TT NL.

 1975 Mercedes-Benz W122 8970HJ Binz De Vries Assen NL

1975 Mercedes-Benz Ambulance Wagenpark Eindhovense GG

1977 Dodge B200 64RE70 Wayne De Vries Assen

1977 Volvo 245 53RT52 De Vries Assen TT Assen NL

1978 Chevrolet Chevy Van 27UP55 WHC De Vries Assen

1978 Peugeot 504 Ambulance NL

1979 GMC Van FF71RZ WHC De Vries Assen NL

1979 Mercedes Benz W123 250 automatic Binz Ambulance NL

1979 Peugeot 504 Ambulance NL

1980 Mercedes-Benz 240D NL

1981 Volvo 245 HD18GP De Vries Assen ANWB Alarmcentrale NL

1984 Mercedes-Benz Bremer LK93FP WHC De Vries Assen NL

1985 PEUGEOT 505 GR Ambulance NL

1986 Opel Senator Miesen Ambulance D

1987 Peugeot J9 ambulance Leiden en omstreken RP-44-XJ NL

1988 Chevrolet Vanguard met zwaailichten aan NL

1989 Mercedes-Benz W124 XY-96-JS Binz carr NL

1994 German Army ambulance version of Mercedes Benz G250 ook gebruikt in Nederlands leger.

1996 Volvo 960 NVJH33 RAV NL

2001 Nederlandse Volvo S80 ambulance met Nilson carrosserie NL 2013 Mercedes-Benz Ambulance 08116 uit veiligheidsregio Gelderland Zuid NL

See also

Air ambulance

Ambulance bus

Ambulance station

Bariatric ambulance

CEN 1789

Combination car

Cutaway van chassis

Emergency Medical Dispatcher

Emergency medical services


Motorcycle ambulance

Rail ambulance


References and notes

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  4. Jump up^ Civil War Ambulance Wagons
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Lancia 1906-2014 Turin, Italy Present Time Chrysler and FIAT IVECO

1934-38 Lancia 3 RO c Ad

Lancia Automobiles S.p.A.
Formerly called
Lancia & C. Fabbrica Automobili
Società per azioni
Industry Automotive
Founded 29 November 1906
Founder Vincenzo Lancia
Headquarters Turin, Italy
Key people
John Elkann (President)
Saad Chehab (CEO of Lancia and Chrysler brand) CEO of Lancia – Antonella Bruno (since 23 April 2013)
Products Cars, Buses, Trucks
Production output
71,223 (2013)
Owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Parent FCA Italy

Lancia (Italian pronunciation: [ˈlantʃa]) is an Italian automobile manufacturer founded in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia as Lancia & C.. It became part of the Fiat Group in 1969; the current company, Lancia Automobiles S.p.A., was established in 2007.

The company has a strong rally heritage and is noted for using letters of the Greek alphabet for its model names.

Lancia vehicles are no longer sold outside of Italy, and comprise only the Ypsilon supermini range, as Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne foreshadowed in January 2014.


1909 Lancia Beta Torpedo 1520 HP 1909 -02Lancia Beta Torpedo (1909)

In 1910 Lancia components were exported to the United States where they were assembled and sold as SGV’s by the SGV Company. In 1915, Lancia also manufactured its first truck, the Jota that continued as a dedicated series. In 1937, Vincenzo died of a heart attack and both his wife, Adele Miglietti Lancia, and his son, Gianni Lancia, took over control of the company. They persuaded Vittorio Jano to join as an engineer. Jano had already made a name for himself by designing various Alfa Romeo models, including some of its most successful race cars ever such as the 6C, P2 and P3. Foundation and early years

Lancia & C. Fabbrica Automobili was founded on 29 November 1906 in Turin by Fiat racing drivers,1908 Vincenzo Lancia Fiat Targa Florio 50hp 1908 Vincenzo Lancia Vincenzo lanciaVincenzo Lancia (1881-1937) and his friend, Claudio Fogolin (1872-1945). The first car manufactured by Lancia was the1908 Lancia Alfa SportTipo 51” or “12 HP” (later called “Alfa”), which remained in production between from 1907 to 1908. It had a small four-cylinder engine with a power output of 28 hp.

Lancia is renowned in the automotive world for introducing cars with numerous innovations. These include the1911 Lancia Theta A total of 1,696 units 1911 lancia theta b 1911-12 lancia theta 1913 Lancia Theta 35hp 5 Lancia Theta Coloniale

Theta of 1913, which was the first European production car to feature a complete electrical system as standard equipment. Lancia’s first car adopting a monocoque chassis – the1923 MHV Lancia Lambda 1923-Lancia-Lambda-1stSrs-DV-08 PBC-02 1924-Lancia Lambda 4th Series DV-07 CA 014 1924-Lancia Lambda DV 08-SM 01 1924-Lancia-Lambda-DV-10-CI 001 1925 Lancia Lambda white vr TCE 1925-Lancia Lambda Trr-DV 08 AI 02

Lancia Lambda

1926 Lancia-Lambda-6th-DV-14-BQ 01 1927 Lancia Lambda 7th series torpedo 1927 Lancia Lambda Mark VIILambda produced from 1922 to 1931 – featured ‘Sliding Pillar‘ independent front suspension that incorporated the spring and hydraulic damper into a single unit (a feature that would be employed in subsequent Lancia’s, up to the Appia that was replaced in 1963). 1948 saw the first 5 speed gearbox to be fitted to a production car (Series 3 Ardea). Lancia premiered the first full-production V6 engine, in the 1950 Aurelia, after earlier industry-leading experiments with V8 and V12 engine configurations. It was also the first manufacturer to produce a V4 engine. Other innovations involved the use of independent suspension in production cars (in an era where live axles where common practice for both the front and rear axles of a car) and rear transaxles, which were first fitted to the Aurelia and Flaminia range. This drive for innovation, constant quest for excellence, fixation of quality, complex construction processes and antiqued production machinery meant that all cars essentially had to be hand-made. With little commonality between the various models, the cost of production continued to increase extensively, while demand did not eventually affecting Lancia’s viability.

Gianni Lancia, a graduate engineer was president of Lancia from 1947 to 1955. In 1956 the Pesenti family took over control of Lancia with Carlo Pesenti (1907–1984) in charge.

1969 to present

Fiat launched a take-over bid in October 1969 which was accepted by Lancia as the company was losing significant sums of money, with losses in 1969 being GB£20m. This was not the end of the distinctive Lancia marque, and new models in the 1970s such as the Stratos, Gamma and Beta served to prove that Fiat wished to preserve the image of the brand it had acquired.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Lancia had great success in rallying, winning many World Rally Championships.

During the 1980s, the company cooperated with Saab Automobile, with the Lancia Delta being sold as the Saab 600 in Sweden. The 1985 Lancia Thema also shared a platform with the Saab 9000, Fiat Croma and the Alfa Romeo 164. During the 1990s, all models were closely related to other Fiat models.

Starting from 1 February 2007, Fiat’s automotive operations were reorganised. Fiat Auto became Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A., Fiat S.p.A.‘s branch handling mainstream automotive production. Simultaneously the current company, Lancia Automobiles S.p.A., was created from the pre-existing brand, and controlled 100% by FGA. In 2011, Lancia moved in a new direction and added new models manufactured by Chrysler and sold under the Lancia badge in many European markets. Conversely, Lancia built models began to be sold in right-hand drive markets under the Chrysler badge. In 2015 Lancia’s parent company Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. became FCA Italy S.p.A., reflecting the earlier incorporation of Fiat S.p.A. into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

1907 Logo Lancia
1907 Lancia radiator script
1929 Lancia logo
1929–1957 Lancia logo
1974 Lancia logo
1974–2000 Lancia logo

From 1907 to 1910 Lancia cars didn’t bear a true badge, but rather a brass plaque identifying the manufacturer (Lancia & C.) and chassis code; although some models did have a brass Lancia script on the grille.


The original Lancia logo was designed by Count Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia. In 1910 Vincenzo Lancia asked Biscaretti di Ruffia to design a badge for the company; the Count submitted six watercolour proposal sketches. Vincenzo Lancia chose a round one, composed by a blue lance and flag bearing a Lancia script (“Lancia” means “lance” in Italian) in gold, over a four-spoke steering wheel, with a hand throttle detail on the right spoke. The first car to bear the Lancia logo was the Gamma 20 HP in 1911.


In 1929 the logo acquired its final layout: the previous round badge was superimposed on a blue shield in the shape of a Reuleaux triangle (as found in one of Biscaretti di Ruffia’s six original proposals). Though first applied on the 1929 Dikappa, this badge was only used consintently starting with the 1936 Aprilia.


Beginning with the 1957 Flaminia, Lancia cars switched from the traditional vertical split grille to an horizontal, full-width one. The logo was therefore moved inside the grille opening, and changed to a more stylized chromed metal open-work design; shield and steering wheel became chrome frames, the only remaining enameled surface being the blue field of the flag. This new metal logo was used on most models with some exceptions, namely Zagato-bodied Lancia Fulvias and Flavias, the Lancia 2000 Berlina (which reprised the traditional upright grille and the round enameled badge) and the Stratos HF (whose ornaments lacked the triangular shield).


In 1974 the badge was redesigned on Gianni Agnelli‘s request; it went back to a modernised silver, white and blue version of the 1929 design. Flag and lance were unified in a single shape and dispensed with the earlier minute detailing, the Lancia letters became all of the same size, and the steering wheel became also outlined in blue and lost the hand throttle detail. This logo debuted on the 1979 Lancia Delta, and made its way on the other models as they adopted the split grille introduced by the Delta. Though lightly revised in 2000 with the addition of a chrome shield surround, the 1974 logo was used through four decades, up to 2006.


The current logo, designed by Robilant Associati, was presented at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show—a couple of months after the creation of Lancia Automobiles. While the traditional chrome-framed blue shield has been retained and made three-dimensional, for the first time since 1911 lance and flag are absent; the steering wheel has been stylized into a chromed circle, from which two spikes converge towards the modern Lancia logotype in the centre.

Lancia family

Cavalier Giuseppe Lancia (1860 (Cuneo) – 1919 (Bordighera)) is an Italian businessman and father of Vincenzo Lancia. When he was sixteen he started a business with food in Italy. Later for few years he made relationships with South America and he created a food industry in Argentina. His efforts and innovations made his company a great success. His company was one of the first food companies in the country and showed new methods in this sector. When he made a fortune he returned to Italy. When he goes back his rang in Turin go to town advisor. By his education Giuseppe is a translator. In 1875 he is married for Marianna Orazzi. In 1876, their first son Giovanni is born. He loves education, humanities and the Greek language. In 1879 their daughter Margherita was born. Unfortunately, she died in 1894. In 1881 their third child Vincenzo Lancia was born. Their second daughter was born at 1884 – Anna Maria later Anna Maria-Giacobinni. The Lancia family at that time was important for Turin. The members of the family liked to go on opera and theatre. In their free time. the Lancias spend their time at a villa near Turin.

Vincenzo Lancia was born on 24 of August 1881 in Fobello near Turin. His father wanted Vincenzo to be a lawyer, but didn’t have much interest in the humanities. He met the Battista brothers as well as Giovanni Ceirano and became interested in science and technology, especially automobiles. He saw his first cars in Turin and Milan. One of his friends Carlo Bishareti di Ruffia had a Benz and that was the first important automobile in his life. When FIAT was founded in 1899 Vincenzo was very active in the company and later became one of the most famous test drivers of Italian automobile brands. In 1922, Vincenzo married his secretary – Adele Miglietti. Vincenzo and Adele had three children Gianni, Eleonora and Maria. He died on February 15, 1937.

Gianni Lancia was born on 24 November 1924 in Turin. He finished his education with his sisters at the Technical University of Pisa. From the time he was a little boy Gianni loved sports, but his greatest passion was motor racing. This led him to become a driver for the Lancia team. Gianni became the boss of Lancia in 1950. Unfortunately, he invested a lot of money in expensive prototypes and other unprofitable ventures that led him to sell a big part of the company to Carlo Pesenti in 1957. After that he started a business in the food industry. For a few years he lived in Brazil. He had two sons, Mariele and Vincenzo from his first marriage and had one son (Lorenzo Lancia) from his marriage to Jacqueline Sassard .


Current models

Lancia Ypsilon

Main article: Lancia Ypsilon

2013 Lancia Ypsilon 846 Elefantino2013 Lancia Ypsilon

The Ypsilon is a premium 5-door supermini car produced since 2011. It is based on an updated Fiat 500 platform. Available for sale in various European markets, for the United Kingdom and Ireland it was only sold as the Chrysler Ypsilon.

Past car models

Lancia has a long tradition of passenger, fast touring, sports and racing cars. They have tended to emphasize quality, appearance and sophisticated design, somewhat at the expense of power and competitive pricing. Among the most beautiful, desirable and unusual models are various Lancia Zagato models.

The Lancia Aurelia introduced the front engine rear transmission configuration later used by Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Porsche, GM, and Maserati, as well as the V6 engine, which is now common. It also had inboard rear brakes, an important way of reducing un-sprung weight.

The Lancia Stratos was a successful rally car during the 1970s and helped the company to improve its sporting credentials.

The Lancia Thema was a executive car unveiled in 2011, was a re-branded second generation Chrysler 300 and replaced the Thesis. It re–used the Thema name from the saloon of 1984–94 made in Italy. Previously available in various European markets, for the United Kingdom and Ireland it was only sold as the Chrysler 300C. It has since been discontinued in 2015.

The Lancia Voyager was a large MPV unveiled in 2011, which was based on the Chrysler Town & Country. It was marketed in various European markets, for the United Kingdom and Ireland it was only sold as the Chrysler Grand Voyager. It has since been discontinued in 2015.

Concept cars

Lancia Bertone Kayak 02

The Lancia Kayak Bertone

Lancia has shown several concept cars to the public including the Flaminia Loratmo (1958), Stratos Zero (1970), the Megagamma by Italdesign Giugiaro and Sibilo by Bertone in 1978, Hit (1988) by Pininfarina, the Bertone designed Kayak (1995), the Dialogos (1998) and Nea in 2000. More recently the company has shown the Granturismo Stilnovo and Fulvia. concepts in 2003.

Special cars

1957 Lancia Flaminia Cabrio limousine 1957 Lancia Flaminia of the President of the Italian RepublicIn the end of 1957 Lancia make their first limousine for the President of Italy,the model Lancia Florida.
In 1989 Lancia made a limousine version of the model Thema.
In 1999 Lancia made a limousine version of the Kappa and in 2004 Geneva Motor Show, Stola showed a limousine version of the Lancia Thesis.

Export markets

In January 2014, in an interview with La Repubblica, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne foreshadowed that Lancia would become an Italy–only brand, and focus only on the Ypsilon supermini range.

United States

While some models had been imported on a small scale during the 1950s–1960s, Lancias were officially sold in the United States from 1975. Sales were comparatively slow, and the range was withdrawn at the same time as Fiat in 1982.

In 2009, following Fiat’s acquisition of a stake in United States-based Chrysler and part of Chrysler’s restructuring plans, it was stated that Fiat plans for the Chrysler brand and Lancia to co–develop products, with some vehicles being shared. Olivier Francois, Lancia’s CEO, took over as CEO of the Chrysler division in October 2009. Fiat has also announced that, depending on the market, some Chrysler cars would be sold as Lancias and vice versa.

Francois plans to re-establish the Chrysler brand as an upscale brand, was somewhat muddied by the discontinuance of the Plymouth brand.[13] At the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, a Chrysler-badged Lancia Delta was on display,[14] but this did not result in sales in the United States, with proposals to instead modify an Alfa Romeo for sale by 2013.

United Kingdom

Lancia’s reputation was significantly undermined in 1980, when defective Lancia Beta models, suffering from significant suspension sub-frame corrosion problems, were purchased back from owners by the company in a highly publicised campaign. These cars were subsequently crushed. The brand never recovered from the damage inflicted during the Beta recall and, combined with a range of related factors (including poor residual values, which made their range uncompetitive), decided to withdraw from the right hand drive market. The last model be sold in the United Kingdom was the Delta, boosted by its rallying reputation, withdrawn from sale in 1995.

Since 1995, there have been continuous rumours suggesting Lancia’s return to the United Kingdom. In November 2005, What Car? reported rumours over the alleged return, to rival “affordable” premium makes, such as Saab and Volvo. In September 2006, What Car? reported that Lancia were officially returning to the United Kingdom. The relaunch date was set for August 2008. In April 2008, Car reported that Lancia had postponed the relaunch.

These were credible since Lancia models, by that time, shared common parts with Fiat and Alfa Romeo models that were imported, sold and maintained by an existing dealership network. The cost to reestablish the brand were therefore minimal. In December 2008, however, Fiat cancelled re–launch plans, due to financial concerns coinciding with the global financial crisis, and the recession.

In 2011, Lancia Ypsilon and Delta models were eventually re–introduced to the United Kingdom, but were re–branded as Chrysler. In January 2014, the Delta model was dropped from this line–up. In March 2015, Fiat Group announced that the Chrysler brand would be discontinued in the U.K. in 2017, citing a desire to focus largely on the Jeep brand instead.


A small number of Lancia models were previously sold in Japan, such as Fulvia, Stratos and Delta. More recently, some models have been sold under the Chrysler brand, such as the Ypsilon.

Lancia in motorsport

Formula One

After Vincenzo Lancia’s son Gianni became director of the firm, it started to take part more frequently in motorsport, eventually deciding to build a Grand Prix car. Vittorio Jano was the new designer for Lancia and his Lancia D50 was entered into the 1954 Spanish Grand Prix, where Alberto Ascari took the pole position and drove the fastest lap. In the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix Ascari crashed into the harbour after missing a chicane. One week later Ascari was killed in an accident driving a Ferrari sports car at Monza. With Ascari’s death and Lancia’s financial problems the company withdrew from Grand Prix racing.[23] Altogether Lancia took two victories and ten podiums in Formula One.

Remnants of the Lancia team were transferred to Scuderia Ferrari, where Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1956 championship with a Lancia-Ferrari car.



Lancia Selta S4 Group B Rally Car A Lancia Delta S4 Group B rally car

Lancia has been very successful in motorsport over the years, and mostly in the arena of rallying. Prior to the forming of the World Rally Championship, Lancia took the final International Championship for Manufacturers title with the Fulvia in 1972. In the WRC, they remain the most statistically successful marque (despite having withdrawn at the end of the 1993 season), winning constructors’ titles with the Stratos (1974, 1975 and 1976), the 037(1983) and the Delta (six consecutive wins from 1987 to 1992). The Delta is also the most successful individual model designation ever to compete in rallying. All this gave Lancia a total of 11 Championships over the years.

Juha Kankkunen and Miki Biasion both won two drivers’ titles with the Delta. Among other drivers to take several World Rally Championship wins with Lancia were Markku Alén, Didier Auriol, Sandro Munari, Bernard Darniche,Walter Röhrl, Björn Waldegård and Henri Toivonen. The history of the brand in rallying is also tainted with tragedy, with deaths of Italian driver Attilio Bettega at the 1985 Tour de Corse in a Lancia 037 and then Finnish championship favourite Toivonen in a Lancia Delta S4 at the same rally exactly a year later. These deaths would eventually lead to the end of Group B rallying.

Sports car racing

In 1953 Lancia introduced D24 sports racer, being an evolution of D23 model, bodied as spider by Pinin Farina. Most significant victories were: 1953 Carrera Panamericana, 1954 Mille Miglia and 1954 Targa Florio.

1982LanciaLC1MartiniA Lancia LC1 Group 6 sports car

During Lancia’s dominance of rallying, the company also expanded into sports cars in the late 1970s until the mid-1980s. Originally running the Stratos HF in Group 4, as well as a brief interlude with a rare Group 5 version, the car was replaced with the successful Beta Montecarlo Turbo winning the FIA’s 1980 World Championship for Makes and 1981 World Endurance Championship for Makes and the 1980 Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft.

Lancia LC2 FrontA Lancia LC2 sports car

In 1982 the team moved up to Group 6 with the LC1 Spyder, followed by the Group C LC2 coupé which featured a Ferrari powerplant in 1983. The LC2 was a match for the standard-setting Porsche 956 in terms of raw speed, securing 13 pole positions over its lifetime, however its results were hampered by poor reliability and fuel economy and it only managed to win three European and World Endurance Championship races. The team’s inability to compete against the dominant Porsche 956 and 962 sports cars led it to drop out of sportscar racing at the end of 1986 in order to concentrate on rallying, although private teams continued to enter LC2s with declining results until the early 1990s.


Commercial vehicles

Lancia produced a wide range of vans, trucks, buses and military vehicles from the beginning, forming Lancia Veicoli Industriali in 1912. Lancia slowly withdrew from the commercial sectors during the late 1960s and production of commercial vehicles ended in the early 1970s, shortly after Fiat’s takeover of the company, with some models transferred to Iveco.

Light commercial vehicles

Heavy commercial vehicles

1921 Lancia Triota 1921 Armoured Truck captured from the British Forces by the IRA1921 Lancia triota armoured truck1921 Lancia Triota(1)1921 Lancia Triota1921 Lancia-Triota-Light-Truck1922 Lancia Triota 2 Ton Lorry1922 Lancia triota-truckLancia Triota 1921

Lancia Esadelta CLancia Esadelta C

Lancia Esagamma ELancia Esagamma E in Avellino (Italy)Lancia Esagamma E

1981 Lancia Athens-trolleyLancia trolleybus in Athens

Ungarn, Richtung Plattensee, etwa 15.-20. März 1945
Ungarn, Richtung Plattensee, etwa 15.-20. März 1945 Lancia 3RO military truck

1915 lancia-jota1915 Lancia Jota

1915 Lancia Dijota Nothing to find1922 Lancia triota-truck1921 Lancia Triota1921 Lancia Tetrajota industriali 11921 Lancia Tetrajota1925 LANCIA PentaIota1924 Lancia Pentajota

1926 Lancia Esajota Nothing to find

Lancia Eptaiota trasformati in veicoli di servizio

lancia-eptajota-01 (1) lancia-eptajota-02 lancia-eptajota-04 lancia-eptajota-071927 Lancia Eptajota

LANCIA RO workshop Lancia 3 Ro sevgg0 Lancia RO a40 camion 1941-lancia-ro-p-macchi Lancia RO a Lancia RO 1933 Lancia RoNM base1932 Lancia Ro

1935-39 Lancia Ro Ro

1935 Lancia Ro-Ro

Lancia 3 RO 0055 Lancia 3 RO 0056 Lancia 3 Ro Conegliano Vajont Cimolais classic industrial vehicle road ... LANCIA 3RO 0059 Lancia 3RO a Lancia 3RO Army Lancia 3RO Autocannone Lancia 3RO e L6-40 Regio Esercito OM-08

Ungarn, Richtung Plattensee, etwa 15.-20. März 1945
Ungarn, Richtung Plattensee, etwa 15.-20. März 1945

Lancia 3RO NM, 6.5-ton, 4x2, Heavy truck lancia 3ro02 (1)1938 Lancia 3Ro

1942 Lancia Esaro - tipo 267 1945 Lancia ESARO 267 1945 Lancia, Esaro 267 4x2 medium truck 1944 Lancia Esaro (3) Lancia Esaro a Lancia esaro small1943 Lancia Esaro

1941-47 lkw lancia e2901941 Lancia E290, electric truck, one built

lancia-6ro-10 lancia-6ro-05 lancia-6ro-03 (1) lancia-6ro-03 Lancia 6RO M-CP481947 Lancia 6Ro

1955 Lancia Esatau autocarri Lancia Esatau P V.11 Viberti Monotral LANCIA-ESATAU SHELL. 1950 Lancia_Esatau_anni50_camion_2

Historical Vehicle Lancia Esatau 864
Historical Vehicle Lancia Esatau 864

lancia-esatau-864-08 1947-1963 LANCIA 3 RO ESATAU 864 TRUCK lancia-esatau-864-07 lancia-esatau-864-12 lancia-esatau-864-01 Lancia Esatau A Casaro 1950's AA Lancia Esatau.jpganni50 Lancia Esatau 864 0093 Lancia Esatau-Om Lancia Esatau 864 0047 lancia esatau militare frontale Lancia Esatau A musone 1962 - FIAT 682 N2 FIAT 690 N1 LANCIA ESATAU B 1952-57 Lancia Esatau V11 Lancia Esatau 864 Tanker 1952 - LANCIA ESATAU 864 Lancia Esatau Vegatables truck 1955 Lancia Esatau A Casaro AMADIO Lancia Esatau Tu Lancia Esatau A Lancia esatau v 1954 Lancia Esatau 112, 8867cm3, 132cv 1949 Lancia Esatau 108, 8245cm3, 122cv 1954 Lancia Esatau 112, 8867cm3, 132cv (2) 1955 Lancia Esatau P chassis, bodied by Viberti 1947 Lancia Esatau 864, bodied by Viberti and pulling a Viberti trailer 1960-61 Autocarri Lancia Esatau 503 3 Esadelta 401 lancia-esatau-p-07 LANCIA ESATAU VIBERTI Imagen1957 Lancia Esatau

lancia-esatau-b-05 (1) lancia-esatau-b-503-03 lancia-esatau-b-503-05 lancia-esatau-b-503-10 lancia-esatau-b-503-01 1958 - LANCIA ESATAU B

Lancia Esatau B

Lancia Esatau B-01 Lancia Esatau B-03 Lancia esatau B ribaltabile 1957 Lancia Esatau B, 8867cm3, 150cv 1957 Lancia Esatau B 5031955 Lancia Esatau B

Lancia Esadelta Vigili del Fuoco firetruck LANCIA ESADELTA OF ADDIS ABABA lancia esadelta macchi firebrigade lancia-esadelta-09 lancia-esadelta-10 lancia-esadelta-08 lancia-esadelta-03 lancia-esadelta-02 lancia-esadelta-04 Lancia Esadelta Portauto cartransporters LANCIA ESADELTA C 3 Assi Fresia - A.I.T.E. Lancia Esadelta a lancia-esadelta-05 lancia-esadelta-06 (1) 1960-61 Autocarri Lancia Esatau 503 3 Esadelta 401 Lancia-esadelta-2 Lancia EsadeltaLancia Esadelta

Lancia Esadelta B Tanker 1967 Lancia Esadelta Bisarca 1964 Lancia Esadelta B401 b 1964 Lancia Esadelta B401 a1959 Lancia Esadelta B

Lancia Esadelta C tankx2 Lancia Esadelta C r Lancia Esadelta C catalog Lancia Esadelta C1969 Lancia Esadelta C

Lancia Esagamma 3 Lancia Esagamma firebrigade f16 Lancia Esagamma su Lancia_Esagamma_a60_camion Lancia-esagamma-1 (1) lancia-esagamma-e-swb Lancia-esagamma-1 lancia-esagamma-09 Lancia Esagamma a lancia-esagamma-08 (1) lancia-esagamma lancia 007-esagamma lancia-esagamma-718-01 lancia-esagamma-08 lancia-esagamma-07 Lancia Esagamma trattore 1973 Lancia Esagamma E 10x4 Lancia Esagamma E Lancia Esagamma E520 Lancia esagamma z tractor 1973 Lancia Esagamma E 8x4 LANCIA ESAGAMMA 4asser Lancia Esagamma E in Avellino (Italy) 1965 LANCIA Esagamma 715 1965 Lancia Esagamma 516, 10521cm3, 197cv LANCIA ESAGAMMA 1962-69 LANCIA ESAGAMMA E lancia_esagamma_e_10x4_1Lancia Esagamma




Military vehicles

  • 1912 Lancia 1Z (light truck)
  • 1912 Lancia 1ZM (armoured car)
  • 1938 Lancia 3Ro (truck)
  • 1942 Lancia Esaro (truck)
  • 1942 Lancia Lince (armoured car)
  • 1948 Lancia Esatau 6RoM (truck)
  • 1951 Lancia CL51 (Z 20) (troop transporter)
  • 1954 Lancia TL51 (Z 30) (truck)
  • 1960 Lancia 506 (truck)
  • 1975 Lancia ACL 75 (6611 M) (truck)
  • 1990 Lancia ACL 90 (truck, later Iveco) (truck)



The company has previously made a number of industrial engines.

Media and sponsorship

In 2009, the British motoring television show Top Gear suggested that Lancia had more ‘great’ models than any other car company. The presenters went on to test the Gamma Coupé, Fulvia Coupé, Aprilia, Montecarlo, Beta Coupé, HPE, Stratos, 037, Delta Integrale Evo II and Thema 8.32. They also stated during their review that Lancia made the best looking cars, even though they are unreliable.

Lancia sponsored the Venice Film Festival for five years, ending in 2012, with the Lancia Thema used to transport stars to the festival. Lancia was sponsor of ninth and eleventh World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

1906 Lancia stabilimento 1906 1907 Logo Lancia 1908 Lancia 18.24hp Alpha 1908 Lancia Alfa Sport 1908 Lancia Alpha 12 HP 1908 Vincenzo Lancia Fiat Targa Florio 50hp 1908 Vincenzo Lancia 1909 Lancia a 1909 Lancia Beta Torpedo 1520 HP 1909 -02 1909 Lancia Beta Torpedo 1520 HP 1909 lancia Beta-1 1909 lancia-ad 1910 Lancia di Billy Knipper, vittoriosa nel Tiedmann Trophy (1910) 1910 Lancia Gamma 20 HP Corsa Tipo 55 1910 lancia gamma 20hp 1 1910 Lancia Light Car Race Savannah 1910 lancia-ad 1910 lancia-gamma 1 1911 LANCIA - Delta - 1911 1911 LANCIA - DELTA 20-30 HP - 1911 1911 Lancia Beta 20 HP 1911 1911 Lancia Beta, gioiello da 10.500… lire 1911 lancia featu 2 1911 Lancia Theta A total of 1,696 units 1911 lancia theta b 1911-12 Lancia Epsilon 1911-1912 1911-12 lancia theta 1912 Lancia epsilon-12 1912 Lancia epsilon-17 1912 Lancia IZ 1912 Lancia Torpedo Type Epsilon Mulhouse FRA 001 1912 lancia-zeta-1 1912-13 Lancia Eta van 1912 met carrosserie van Schutter & van Bakel (gebouwd in het voorjaar van 1913) 1912-lancia-zeta-2 1913 Lancia Theta 35hp 5 1913-18 Lancia Theta Coloniale 1914 Lancia Eta, 50Hp, Favourite Automobiles, Lancia La Classe 1915 Lancia ad 1915 Lancia Theta a 1915 Lancia Theta Hydraplane Runabout 1915 Lancia Theta Spider APB0108 Pebble-Beach-2008 1915 Lancia Theta Sport 1915 Lancia Theta 1915 lancia-jota Jugoslawien, italienischer Panzerspähwagen 1916 Autoblindo Mitragliatrice Lancia Ansaldo 1Z 1916 Italian Ansaldo-Lancia 1Z armored car 1916 lancia centrum ad 1917 Lancia Theta Torpedo 1917 lancia-1917-centrum 1919 Lancia Kappa 1920 Lancia Kappa Charabanc 1921 Lancia Kappa Bus 1921 Lancia Tetrajota industriali 1 1921 Lancia Triota 1921 Armoured Truck captured from the British Forces by the IRA 1921 Lancia triota armoured truck 1921 Lancia Triota(1) 1921 Lancia Triota 1921 lancia-1921-centrum 1921 Lancia-Triota-Light-Truck 1921-22 Lancia Dikappa 1922 Lancia Triota 2 Ton Lorry