From Horse to Hearse: A Brief History of EMS and Ambulatory Transport

With origins in the Middle Ages, medical transport services go back as far as the Crusades. Of course, ambulatory care at the time was strictly transportational in nature, and it was not until the late 19th century that ambulances began to integrate on-board medical service. Amidst the backdrop of both World Wars, advancements in automobile technology meant that these doctors on wheels no longer relied on horse-drawn carriages to cart them around; indeed, early models were often owned by funeral homes and doubled as hearses (morbid as it may sound, these were the only vehicles equipped to carry recumbent patients!). By the 1970s, an increase in popularity necessitated standardization of emergency care, reducing mortality rates and improving quality of life across both the country and the globe.

These days, ambulatory care isn’t just reserved for the ill and dying. Emergency Medical Service personnel are trained in any of multiple levels of care, and the services they render are dependent upon the services for which their employer is contracted to provide. While most ambulance companies are equipped to administer life-saving care, the frequency with which they do so will vary greatly according to their contractual obligations and the industry which they serve. Regardless, it is the ubiquitous professionalism and expertise of EMS providers which has made them such a valuable asset to both the healthcare industry and civilians en masse.

In the Garden State, a plethora of ambulance companies are employed to run both emergency- and non-emergency transport. While some are privately owned, others are considered part and parcel of a larger network of care; examples of this integrated approach include cross-trained Firefighter/EMTs and hospital-based Paramedics. Certified both nationally and in New Jersey, EMS responders can be called upon to provide prompt and professional care no matter the size or severity of the circumstance.

At Alert Ambulance, we take pride in our reputation for comprehensive and compassionate care. Recently partnered with Hackensack Meridian Health, we operate a fleet of vehicles for a range of purposes, and can accommodate everything from Basic Life Support to Critical Care Transport. Affiliated with various local organizations, we provide care across the state, and are always interested in building robust partnerships for both Municipal 911 and Private Hire services. To learn more about the Alert Ambulance difference, check out our services or contact us.

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