Helping, rescuing and recovering often is a race against time – every minute counts and helpers need fast and reliable vehicles. Traditional horse-drawn carts were no longer capable of performing these tasks especially in the cities and the large industrial centres and conurbations which emerged as a result of the industrial revolution in the 19th century.
The automobile provided the required speed in rescue and ambulance operations – initially only in the expanding cities. Fire brigades were among the first to overcome the great reservations concerning the novel motor vehicle in the early 20th century and to put its advantages to good use. Health organizations also began using motor vehicles for the transport of the sick and injured around the turn of the century.
In the 1920s, municipal authorities like refuse disposal, road patrol and police discovered the automobile for themselves. In response, different special vehicles were developed for the most diversified operations of authorities and support organizations.