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World War On
Ford 1916 Model T Field Ambulance. This canvas on wood frame model was used extensively by the British & French as well as the American Expeditionary Force in World War I . Its top speed was 45mph produced by a 4 cylinder water cooled engine.
During World War One, the Red Cross brought in the first widespread battlefield motor ambulances to replace horse drawn vehicles, which was such a success, the horse drawn variants were quickly phased out. In civilian emergency care, dedicated ambulance services were frequently managed or dispatched by individual hospitals , though in some areas, telegraph and telephone services enabled police departments to handle dispatch duties.
The equipment carried by the ambulance was changing fast at this time. Traction splints were introduced during World War I , and were found to have a positive effect on the morbidity and mortality of patients with leg fractures. Two-way radios became available shortly after World War I, enabling for more efficient radio dispatch of ambulances. Shortly before World War II , then, a modern ambulance carried advanced medical equipment, was staffed by a physician , and was dispatched by radio. It was frequently found that ambulances were hearses - the only available vehicle that could carry a recumbent patient - and were thus frequently run by funeral homes , these vehicles which could serve for either purpose were known as combination cars .
Keywords: ambulance, military, WWI
Last Revision Date: 6/25/07 - 3:26 PM