Ambulance emergency response vehicle

Ambulance emergency response car, built on a Volvo V70 in Sweden

An ambulance emergency response vehicle is a vehicle operated by an emergency medical service to respond to medical emergencies either in addition to, or in place of, an ambulance capable of transporting patients.

They can also be known as a fly car, echo unit, rapid response vehicle (RRV), quick response vehicle (QRV), quick response service (QRS), emergency response unit (ERU), medic-car, paramedic chase car, fast response unit (FRU), tango unit or simply an ambulance car (PRU) Paramedic Response Unit.

Emergency response vehicles can be used to reach a scene more quickly than a standard ambulance, as they may be able to move through traffic with greater ease, or travel at greater speed, to bring additional or more skilled resource to a scene, or to simply to avoid sending too much resource to medical problems that do not require it.

The vehicle may be a production car (often a station wagon or SUV as they have greater carrying capacity) which is provided and manned by an emergency medical service organization in order to provide transport to their staff. The fly-car enables the crew (often a lone responder) to bring their equipment quickly to the scene of an emergency, and may carry most of the same equipment as a full size ambulance, although it is likely to be limited in its capacity to transport patients.



Emergency medical vehicle, built in a Renault Scenic, in Portugal.

An emergency response vehicle can help emergency medical organizations use their resources more efficiently, sending this smaller vehicle to the scene of an emergency call, where they can assess an incident's severity (especially where there is reason to suspect the injury or illness is not serious) and call in additional help if required. Trisha Ecklund writes that the qrv is smaller than an ambulance so it can maneuver to places at a quicker pace.[citation needed]

Such vehicles can also provide first aid assistance for patients who do not require hospital treatment, and can be treated at the scene by the crew on site (such as cuts and bruises to non-dangerous body areas), which saves conventional ambulances for other, more urgent jobs.

This can represent a resource saving on several levels, with most fly-cars costing much less than full size ambulances, and because they can often be staffed by a single person (ambulances require a minimum of two crew members: a driver and an attendant).

Fly-cars can also be used to improve response times. This especially applies in areas such as busy roads, where the smaller vehicles are able to move through traffic faster than a full size ambulance. Some fly-cars may also have off-road capabilities, giving them access to areas that traditional ambulances cannot reach.

Other uses for fly cars include work as a "supervisor" vehicle where an officer or supervisor responds to various calls but does not ride on the ambulance to the hospital. This principle especially applies where the fly-car is crewed by a paramedic, who can assist lower qualified staff, such as emergency medical technicians on an ambulance, meaning fewer people at the higher qualification level are required. However, dependent on the jurisdiction and needs of the individual service, any level of emergency medical provider from first responder to doctor can be found on fly-cars.


Emergency physician rapid response car in Graz, Austria

Several European countries, such as Germany and Austria, with physician-led emergency services, there are Emergency Physician Rapid Response Cars (in German called NEF from NotarztEinsatzFahrzeug - Notarzt = Emergency Physician, Einsatz = Mission, Fahrzeug = Vehicle), staffed with at least an emergency physician and a paramedic.

A Swedish akutbil in Stockholm, Sweden

In the Swedish medical system, a fly-car (akutbil) can be equipped with a nurse specialized in anesthesia who is specialized in pain management, paired together with a paramedic. Fly-cars can be staffed around the clock or during the busiest hours of the day and week in order to augment the capacity of the prehospital care provider and can respond both independently and in conjunction with one or more ambulances, air ambulance(s) and other emergency services. As a result of new legislation requiring all ambulances to be equipped with at least one trained nurse, fly-cars have become less common[1][2].

A well-known example of a fly-car in the United States is Squad 51 from the 1970s era television series, "Emergency".

Squad 51 1972 Dodge D-300 Emergency!

Photo gallery


  1. ^ (Swedish)
  2. ^ (Swedish)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response — The Dutchess County Department Of Emergency Response has the responsibility of governing Emergency operations in Dutchess County, New York. This encompasses Police, Fire and EMS. Contents 1 Dispatch System 2 Unit Identifiers 3 Divisions …   Wikipedia

  • Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service — Infobox Company company name = Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS) company company type = Volunteer EMS Service foundation = Georgetown University, 1982 location city = Washington, D.C. company slogan = Busting ours. Saving… …   Wikipedia

  • Ambulance — For other uses, see Ambulance (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Emergency medical services — A road ambulance of the South Western Ambulance Service in England …   Wikipedia

  • Emergency medical dispatcher — United States An Emergency medical dispatcher is a professional telecommunicator, tasked with the gathering of information related to medical emergencies, the provision of assistance and instructions by voice, prior to the arrival of Emergency… …   Wikipedia

  • Emergency vehicle lighting — refers to any of several visual warning devices, which may be known as light bars or beacons, fitted to a vehicle and used when the driver wishes to convey to other road users the urgency of their journey, to provide additional warning of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Ambulance Service of New South Wales — Ambulance Service of NSW Excellence in Pre hospital Care Agency overview Formed 1 April 1895 Jurisdiction Government of New South Wales Employees 4,000+ …   Wikipedia

  • Emergency vehicle equipment — is the equipment fitted to, or carried by, an emergency vehicle, which is additional to any equipment such as headlights, steering wheels or windshield/windscreens that a standard non emergency vehicle is fitted with.Visual warning… …   Wikipedia

  • Emergency medical services in the United States — infobox country common name = United States capital = Washington, DC [cite web|url= world factbook/geos/us.html|title=All facts unless otherwise cited are from: The CIA World Fact Book|accessdate=2008… …   Wikipedia

  • Emergency service response codes — The emergency services in various countries use systems of response codes to categorize their responses to reported events. One of the best known is the Code 3 Response, which is used in several countries, particularly the United States, to… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.