FSO WARSZAWA 203 Ambulance
FSO Polonez + Daewoo FSO Ambulances and Hearses
FSO WARSZAWA 203 Ambulance
FSO Polonez + Daewoo FSO Ambulances and Hearses
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, helicopters, fixed-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.
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.
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 cycles, quad 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
A paramedic’s scooter in Israel
In large, congested cities, paramedics may travel by bicycle, such as this one of the London Ambulance Service
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.
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-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
A volunteer ambulance crew in Modena, Italy
A city fire service ambulance from the Tokyo Fire Department.
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 Falck, Acadian 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 plants, oil refineries, breweries 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).
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:
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
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.
1905 Belgische Germain 24 H.P
1905-30 Mobil Ambulance Dinas Kesehatan Gemeente Batavia
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
1915 Leeuwarder ziekenauto (spyker)
1917 Ford Model T Army ambulance
1918 FIAT de eerste ziekenauto van Kroeskop in Meppel
1920 Dodge Brothers model 30 Ambulance Zuid Holland Wateringen H-31364
1920 Dodge Brothers model 30 Ambulance Zuid Holland Wateringen H-31364
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 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 ?
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
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 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 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
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
1966 Ford Transit 8999 BV Ambulance carrosserie de Vries Assen NL
1966 Mercedes Benz Ambulance NL
1967 Mercedes 230 Ambulance
1967 Opel Admiraal ziekenauto Geleen opel kapitein NL
1967-76 Mercedes-Benz W114-115 84-83-UL Visser Leeuwarden NL
1969 Peugeot-J7-Ambulance 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
1975 Dodge B200 56GF46 Visser 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
1981 Volvo 245 HD18GP De Vries Assen ANWB Alarmcentrale NL
1984 Mercedes-Benz Bremer LK93FP WHC De Vries Assen NL
1988 Chevrolet Vanguard met zwaailichten aan NL
1994 German Army ambulance version of Mercedes Benz G250 ook gebruikt in Nederlands leger.
1996 Volvo 960 NVJH33 RAV Drenthe.941.co NL
2001 Nederlandse Volvo S80 ambulance met Nilson carrosserie NL 2013 Mercedes-Benz Ambulance 08116 uit veiligheidsregio Gelderland Zuid NL
References and notes
|Ford Crown Victoria|
1998–2002 Ford Crown Victoria LX
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
(St. Thomas Assembly)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Layout||FR layout, body-on-frame|
|Platform||Ford Panther platform|
|Related||Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
|Predecessor||Ford LTD Crown Victoria|
|Successor||Ford Taurus (2010)|
The Ford Crown Victoria (or simply Crown Vic) is a rear-wheel drivefull-size sedan that was marketed and manufactured by Ford Motor Company; it was produced from the 1992 to the 2012 model years over two generations. Discontinued in the 2011 model year, the latter day Crown Victoria had been in production since 1991 at Ford’s St. Thomas Assembly plant in Talbotville, Ontario, Canada. Dropping its previous LTD prefix, Ford instead revived a nameplate once used on a two-door version of the Fairlane sold in the North American market for the 1955 model year.
The Crown Victoria shared the Ford Panther platform and major powertrain and suspension components with the Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis. Along with its rebadged Mercury and Lincoln variants, the Crown Victoria was the final full-frame rear-wheel-drive passenger sedan produced in North America. The durability associated with its layout popularized the use of the Crown Victoria with taxicab and fleet owners to be one of the most commonly used police patrol/pursuit vehicles in North America.
Downsized two years after its main rival, the Chevrolet Caprice, the new 1979 LTD was eighteen-inches shorter and 900 pounds lighter than its 1978 predecessor; it was also smaller than both the “intermediate-sized” LTD IIand Thunderbird. The redesign marked the introduction of the Ford Panther platform; the reduced width, weight, and overall size all led to improved road manners and maneuverability, which had been major drawbacks of the previous-generation LTD.
For the 1980 model year, the LTD Crown Victoria was introduced as the top-level trim on the LTD line, replacing the LTD Landau. To differentiate it from the Mercury Marquis, the roof was “crowned” by a stainless-steel band. In addition, the vinyl roof now covered only the rear seat (similar to Lincoln models).
1988 Ford ltd-crown-victoria-sedan
The LTD Crown Victoria would see little change throughout the 1980s. In 1983, it would become a stand-alone model, as the standard LTD nameplate was shifted onto the company’s mid-size model line (to replace the Granada). It would see a minor exterior update in 1988, with an interior redesign in 1990 that added a driver’s airbag.
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
|Engine||4.6 L SOHC ModularV8|
|Transmission||4-speed AOD automatic
4-speed AODE automatic
4-speed 4R70W automatic
|Wheelbase||114.4 in (2,906 mm)|
|Length||1992–94: 212.4 in (5,395 mm)
1995–97: 212.0 in (5,385 mm)
|Width||77.8 in (1,976 mm)|
|Height||1992–94: 56.7 in (1,440 mm)
1995–97: 56.8 in (1,443 mm)
|Curb weight||3,748–3,849 lb (1,700–1,746 kg)|
After thirteen years on the market relatively unchanged, the redesigned Crown Victoria (ending its use of the LTD prefix) was released in March 1991 as an early 1992 model. While the Panther chassis was retained, updates to the suspension, braking, and steering allowed for highly improved road manners. On the exterior, in a major departure from its predecessor, the body of the Crown Victoria differed significantly from the mechanically-related Mercury Grand Marquis; the only visibly common body parts were the front doors and windshields. The Crown Victoria borrowed many styling themes from the newly redesigned Taurus, most notably its no-grille front fascia and a slightly rounder version of its roofline (with quarter glass in the rear doors); the redesign reduced the coefficient of drag from 0.42 to 0.34.
A significant introduction with this generation was the overhead-cam, fuel-injected 4.6 L Modular V8 as the replacement for both the 5.0L and 5.8L Windsor V8s. Aside from its Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car stablemates, no other American sedan in the Crown Victoria’s price range offered such an engine. Introduced in the 1991 Lincoln Town Car, its stated redesign purpose was to increase fuel mileage and increase power over the 302 cu. in./5.0 liter of the day. The lighter Modular engine, along with an aluminum hood, contributed to the reduced weight of the 1992 model. Anti-lock braking system (ABS) coupled with standard 4-wheel disc brakes and city-speed traction control became available as an option, and saw a 60% uptake in the first year. In addition to the standard driver airbag, a passenger airbag became available late in the 1992 model year. The passenger airbag became standard for the 1994 model year.
To focus on satisfying consumer demand, fleet sales of the Crown Victoria were put on hold for 14 months. As a result of changing tastes in family vehicles, the Country Squirestation wagon was discontinued; for customers looking for a large family vehicle, its role was largely superseded by the Aerostar minivan, the Ford Club Wagon full-size van, and to a lesser extent, the Explorer mid-size SUV. Additionally, Ford still offered the Taurus and Mercury Sable station wagons with a third row of seating.
By continuing Canadian production, Ford was able to balance the higher fuel consumption of the Crown Victoria with the low figures for Korean subcompacts in the ‘import’ list for the CAFE requirements imposed on car makers by the Federal government.
Critics disapproved of the styling of the 1992 model with its Taurus-like lack of a grille. A regular grille was incorporated for the 1993 model year. In the rear, a reflector strip between the taillights was added.
A performance-oriented “Touring Sedan” trim was added for 1992. It featured dual exhausts for an increased engine output of 210 hp (157 kW; 213 PS), wider tires, rear air suspension, and various suspension components shared with the police package model. The Touring Sedan could be optioned with components such as speed sensitive steering and larger diameter sway bars, while it lacked an electronic speed limiter.
The Touring Sedan also came with a standard two-tone exterior paint scheme, unique leather interior, special alloy wheels, and every luxury feature available for that year. The “Handling and Performance” package were also available separately for a reduced price without the “Touring Sedan”, as was a tow package. The Touring Sedan was dropped after 1992, though the “Handling and Performance” package continued.
A minor restyle for the 1995 model year included a new grille, taillights, and dash. To accommodate the design of the new taillights, the rear license plate was moved from the bumper to the trunklid, fitted between the taillights. The restyle was better received than General Motors‘ more radical restyle of the Chevrolet Caprice which may have contributed to its exit and Ford’s ultimate dominance of this segment. Similar to previous model years, two trim levels were once again available: Crown Victoria (base) and LX
For the 1996 model year, in addition to the available anti-lock brake system (ABS), a traction control system was optional as well. A single-key entry system became standard, along with a hidden audio antenna, rear window defroster and tinted glass. A Handling and Performance Package with touring tires was optional and radial-spoke wheel covers were available on the base model. Automatic climate control and a JBL audio system became available on the LX.
For 1997, only slight adjustments were made in anticipation of a 1998 restyle. They included increased responsiveness and improved steering control.
|Production||1998–2011 (fleet sales)
1998–2007 (civilian sales)
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
|Engine||4.6 L ModularV8|
|Wheelbase||114.7 in (2,913 mm)|
|Length||212.0 in (5,385 mm)|
|Width||77.3 in (1,963 mm)|
|Height||56.8 in (1,443 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,057 lb (1,840 kg)|
For the 1998 model year, the second (and final) generation of the Crown Victoria was introduced. Following the lack of acceptance of the radical styling of the 1991-1996 Chevrolet Caprice, the Crown Victoria moved further away from its 1992 redesign. Instead of borrowing design cues from the Taurus, the Crown Victoria shared many of its body parts, including its entire roofline, with the more popular Mercury Grand Marquis. To differentiate itself from Mercury, the Crown Victoria was given larger headlights, different bumpers, and a rectangular grille. The interior design saw little change aside from a new steering wheel.
Mechanically, a revised four-link suspension with a Watt’s linkage was added to the rear axle; while not a change to independent rear suspension, general road handling manners improved at the expense of towing capacity. Larger brakes necessitated the standardization of 16-inch wheels. Police cars (P71/P72) switched from full wheel covers and dog-dish covers held onto the wheel by four nubs (on HD Steel Wheels) to a design with center caps that attached onto the lug nuts; these were sourced from the Explorer SUV. Under the hood, coil-on-plug ignition replaced the traditional spark plug wires; a first for the 4.6 L Modular V8, this was a design borrowed from the 3.4 L V8 used in the 1996-1999 Ford Taurus SHO.
In 2005, the Crown Victoria was replaced as Ford’s flagship sedan with the introduction of the Five Hundred. However, the 5,424 Crown Victorias sold in January 2007 far exceeded the 3,526 of the newer Five Hundred (rebranded as the Taurus in 2008) which was a more technically advanced full-size car with similar passenger space and better fuel economy.
Not much changed for the 1999 model year, with the Crown Victoria receiving three more exterior colors and the previously optional ABS brakes became standard.
2000 brought an emergency trunk release system, child seat anchor brackets in the back seat, the “Belt Minder” chime to the Crown Victoria. This was followed in 2001 by adjustable pedals and increased engine output.
For the 2002 model year, heated exterior side mirrors became available, along with standard floor mats, improved cloth upholstery, and a new trunk storage system option on the LX.
For the 2003 model year, the chassis was again redesigned with hydroformed steel. The front and rear suspension were also completely overhauled. New inverted monotube shocks were now used (replacing the old twin-tube shocks that had been used since the 1960s). In the front, new aluminum control arms, and rack and pinion steering (replacing the recirculating ball units) have been implemented. The rear suspension was redesigned for durability in police-duty applications and the rear shocks were moved outboard of the frame rails for better handling and ease of maintenance. As a result, the road-handling manners of the Panther platform cars had improved significantly. The engine output increased due to the addition of a knock sensor for more aggressive timing. 2003 models also received optional seat-mounted combination head and torso side airbags.
For 2004, Ford altered the transmission, revised the torque converter for better acceleration, and updated the layout of the optional overhead console. Laminated door glass also became available to deter break-ins and thefts, reduce road and wind noise, improve protection from flying glass in a collision and filter out ultraviolet rays, reducing heat buildup and fading of the interior.
The Crown Victoria retained the same exterior styling, but 2005 models received a rear whip radio antenna rather than an integrated rear defroster antenna. 2005 models also received a new steering wheel, optional power moonroof and 6-CD changer. 2005 also saw the addition of electronic throttle control. It was also the last model Ford offered with an analogue odometer.
The rear whip antenna was removed from the 2006 models in favor of the integrated rear defroster antenna. 2006 models also received a redesigned instrument cluster featuring a more modern speedometer (though again 120 mph (190 km/h) for the civilian models); for the first time, the Crown Victoria was available with a tachometer. Other additions included a standard trip computer on the LX and a perimeter alarm as an option.
For the 2007 model year, the LX Sport trim was dropped leaving the Standard and LX. Most of the LX Sport’s components were then made available with the new optional Premium Sport-Handling and Performance Package. Standard AM/FM audio system with CD player and the remote keyless entry system “SmartLock” became available on all models as did daytime running lights. Beginning with 2007 models (built after July 2006), design changes were made to the optional side airbags and door trim to improve occupant protection in side impact crashes.
In 2006, retail sales of the Crown Victoria dwindled to just 3,000, compared to 38,280 of its stablemate Mercury Grand Marquis in the first nine months of 2007. Starting with the 2008 model year, the Crown Victoria became available solely through Ford Fleet and the retail version was succeeded with its submate the Mercury Grand Marquis which was still sold for retail sales except the Middle East where this and the Mercury Grand Marquis are all retail cars; by 2007, approximately 95% of total Crown Victoria sale had been to fleet customers. As of June 21, 2007, the Crown Victoria was removed from the Ford retail website, most likely to promote the 2008 Ford Taurus. This has been the case in Canada since the 2000 model year (see below). Also, with the descent into fleet-only sales across North America, the LX Premium Sport and Handling Package and the Handling and Performance Package (the only Crown Victorias produced for the North American market with dual exhaust, save for the Police Interceptor) were officially discontinued by Ford.
Ford had reportedly announced that it would freshen both the Crown Victoria and the Mercury Grand Marquis for the 2009 model year. Ford had told the Canadian Auto Workers that it would invest $200 million in the vehicles, which are assembled at the St. Thomas Assembly Plant in St. Thomas, Ontario. However, Ford released the 2009 Crown Victoria with few if any changes from the 2008 model, with no announced plans for changes in the future.
For 2009, Ford narrowed the available Crown Victorias in North America by one more model. The Standard (P73) model designation was discontinued in favor of the LX. To make the LX more appealing to future buyers (those who buy the cars after their service in rental fleets) it now uses the 5-spoke alloy wheels once used specifically for the LX Premium Sport and Handling package. These wheels are used in favor of the 9-spoke design the LX has used since 2003, purportedly due to the Lincoln Town Car using 17″ wheels standard, as well as the Police Interceptor and the Taxi/Commercial (P72) model. The Grand Marquis underwent a similar change to 17″ Lincoln Town Car wheels. Also, the LX Sport wheels were used on all Crown Victorias sent to the Middle East (save for the LX). For the Police Interceptor, there are two pieces of standard equipment added to its list. The power pedals are now standard on all models, presumably to cut manufacturing costs (Crown Victoria LX, Grand Marquis LS and Lincoln Town Car all had them as standard equipment previously) and side impact airbags are also standard. There are also new, federally mandated recessed window switches. 2011 would mark the final year of the Crown Victoria in the United States, as its lack of stability control made it illegal for sale for the 2012 model year; all 2012 models would be produced for Middle East export.
As early as 1999, the availability of the Crown Victoria became reduced. As Ford discontinued the Mercury brand in Canada, the Crown Victoria was relegated to fleet-only sales there as Ford dealerships adopted the Mercury Grand Marquis wearing Ford badging. After the 2007 model year, this version of the Grand Marquis was replaced by the new full-size Ford Taurus. From 2000 to 2011, the sole market outside of the United States for the Crown Victoria was the Middle East, largely Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
In the early 2000s, Ford developed the Volvo-derived Five Hundred to replace the Crown Victoria in the retail marketplace. As Ford dominated the market for police cars and taxi vehicles at the time, Ford chose to continue the Crown Victoria for the purposes of securing fleet sales; retail customers still interested in full-size rear-wheel drive cars would be marketed towards Mercury and the Grand Marquis. Sales of the Crown Victoria to retail customers plummeted as a result; only 3,000 were sold in 2006 (outselling only the Ford GT, and only by 1000 cars). When the Five Hundred was updated and rechristened as the 2008 Ford Taurus, the decision was made to end retail sales of the Crown Victoria in the United States entirely. A year later, as part of The Way Forward, Ford announced the closure of the St. Thomas, Canada facility where the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis were assembled; production of the Lincoln Town Car had been relocated there as part of another factory closure. Production of all three cars would cease by the end of 2011; only the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor would have a direct replacement (a modified version of the Ford Taurus). With the end of production of the full-size rear wheel drive body-on-frame platform for the Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car, Ford is promoting the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS flagships for consumers. Ford is also promoting the Transit Connect Taxicab to replace the Crown Victoria for urban taxi cab usage. Some taxi operators have expressed concerns about replacing the roomy Crown Victoria with smaller, more compact vehicles, due to a “bumpier, more cramped ride” and “knee-bumping back seats and flimsier frames”. For police pursuit use, Ford is promoting the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor and the Ford Explorer interceptor to replace the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
All Crown Victorias built after August 31, 2011 are 2012 model year cars. For the 2012 model year the US government required that electronic stability control be fitted on all new cars. Ford did not add this feature to the Crown Victoria, so the 2012 model was not sold in the United States and Canada.
On September 15, 2011, the final Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line. It was destined for export to Saudi Arabia.
Ford’s discontinuation of the Panther platform cars led to the closure of the St. Thomas plant in Canada and the loss of over a thousand jobs, as well as job losses at suppliers in the U.S. The passing of the Crown Victoria and its derivatives also marked the final demise of the ‘traditional’ full-size American sedan – Ford’s offering had been the last bastion of the format with GM and Chrysler having already discontinued their equivalent models.
In Canada, the Crown Victoria was not available for civilian retail purchase after the 1999 model year. From that time until its discontinuation, the Crown Victoria was only available in Canada as a Police Interceptor for law enforcement, or as a taxi or Special Service Vehicle for commercial fleets. The civilian Crown Victoria was only available when ordered for a fleet directly from Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited and was not available through Ford dealerships. Civilians can, however, purchase used 2000 and later civilian Crown Victorias that are available at dealerships. Retired Police Interceptors or Special Service Vehicles are available from various auctions. The Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, which also use the Ford Panther platform, however, were still available at Ford & Lincoln dealerships in Canada through the 2007 model year. Starting with the 2008 models, Ford stopped selling the Grand Marquis in the Canadian market, but continued to sell the Town Car.
Large American sedans have always been part of the landscape in the Middle East. After the discontinuation of the American-produced Chevrolet Caprice in 1996, the Crown Victoria and its twin, the Mercury Grand Marquis became the car of choice for buyers of large American cars in the region. Consequently, the loss of General Motors market share in the region led to the 1999 reintroduction of the Caprice as a badge-engineered Australian Holden Statesman/Caprice (in left hand drive form). Despite their age, and more modern competition from General Motors, sales of the Ford Panther platform remained strong, especially in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. As stability control was not required for export for this region, the Middle East was the sole region the 2012 Crown Victoria was legal for sale; the final models were all produced for export to this region.