History of the Air Ambulance

In 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war and siege of Paris, the first type of air ambulance was used. A hot air balloon was used to move 160 soldiers to the hospital. Then during the first world war it was seen that the transport of the injured by ground was causing more deaths, because before the vehicles would get to their destination they would be attacked. The US wanted to use planes to get soldiers away from harm during this time, but they couldn’t fit a stretcher inside. It was not until the Korean war when the US finally implemented air ambulances.

A helicopter used during the Korean War. [Bell H-13G Sioux, MASH colour scheme, Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum, Pueblo Memorial Airport, Pueblo, CO, taken by Lance Barber, 2007]
The first time an air ambulance was used for commercial use happened around the Scandinavian countries. Their high mountains made it difficult for ambulances to reach patients. Bush pilots were people with planes that would send supplies to remote areas, so these are also probably the first people to also conduct air ambulance runs. Around the 1920’s, Sweden finally realized the importance of having actual air ambulances and not the bush pilots  so they started up a air ambulance service.

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