Emergency vehicle

Emergency vehicle

An emergency vehicle is any vehicle that is designated and authorized to respond to an emergency. These vehicles are usually operated by designated agencies, often part of the government, but also run by charities, non-governmental organizations and some commercial companies.


There are many types of emergency vehicle, dependent on jurisdiction. Some examples of emergency vehicles include:

;Police and security:*Police car:*Police motorcycle:*SWAT vehicle:*Bomb disposal vehicle:*Police bicycle

;Fire and rescue:*Fire apparatus including various specialist units such as turntable ladders:*Mountain rescue vehicle:*Mine rescue vehicle:*Search and rescue team vehicle:*Hazardous materials team vehicle:*Lifeguard vehicle

;Medical:*Ambulances and ambulance response vehicles:*Organ transplant or blood supply vehicles

;Civil emergency:*Park ranger vehicle:*Public utility crews dealing with gas, electricity or water or to repair defective equipment on scene.

;Recovery:*Tow truck


Many emergency response vehicles (especially those of the main police, fire and ambulance services) are likely to be fitted with audible and visual warning devices, which are designed to facilitate their movement through traffic to reach their destination, and to provide some protection on the scene.

Depending on local laws, vehicles on the road may be required to yield the right of way to emergency responders who are using their warning devices. For example, in Utah, when an emergency vehicle is on the road while using its warning devices, all cars are required to pull over to the side of the road, stop, and wait for the vehicle to pass before resuming normal driving, unless doing so would cause an accident or if stopped at a red light/stop sign. Even in areas where no such laws exist, many motorists may allow the vehicle to pass as a matter of courtesy.

ummoning assistance

In many countries, emergency vehicles are usually dispatched from a centre that takes calls from an emergency telephone number, such as 9-1-1, 000 or 1-1-2.


Colours and livery tend to vary widely between services and jurisdictions, dependent on the individual requirements and preferences of the service. In addition, it is possible to encounter two paint schemes for vehicles from the same service, if the older vehicles are not repainted after a livery scheme is changed or if a smaller department can not afford custom painting of their equipment.

Colour and design choices reflect several needs, but typically may include
* Identification of the service - Such as New York State Police or City of Tokyo Fire Department, to which the vehicle belongs and helps identify its purpose to the public and other services. In some areas, the name of the service ("ambulance", "fire" etc.) may be written in reverse lettering on the front of the vehicle to provide a view of the approaching vehicle in a rear view mirror.
* Vehicle ID number - This may be a simple asset tracking number (for maintenance etc.) or may also be the unit number which can be used by control to identify them. Many vehicles also display their vehicle number on their roof or trunk (boot) lid, to be identifiable from the air.
* High visibility markings - Responding emergency vehicles want to be conspicuous, as do emergency vehicles parked at a scene (so they don’t get hit by other vehicles). Many departments use passive visual warnings such as reflective lettering and/or striping to increase their visibility. Other patterns include checker-board (battenburg) or chevrons. For police departments, there can be a competing need for stealth. Police departments also use unmarked civilian-like vehicles, which may be similar to their marked units, or may be entirely different.
* Contact information - There may well be a telephone number written on the side of the vehicle which can be called to summon it. Whilst this also applies in areas where there is a single emergency telephone number, it is especially important where a system of local numbers is in place, or where the service is a secondary service (such as a utility company). In some cases, the vehicle may display an internet address for people to go and find more information about the operator.

See also

* Automobile safety
* ISO 9001 certification
* ISO 14001 certification
* Emergency management
* Emergency services
* Emergency vehicle equipment
* Emergency warning system for vehicles
* Safety car
* Vehicle recovery

External links

* [http://www.projectresponder.com/ Building the Ultimate Volunteer Firfighter's Emergency Vehicle]
* [http://www.firetrucks.com/ Firetrucks.com]
* [http://www.copcar.com/ Copcar.com]
* [http://www.emergency-vehicles.co.uk/ Emergency Vehicles Online]

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