The people of Scotland are assured of safe and reliable transport when they need it most, following the introduction this year of more than 150 new Mercedes-Benz ambulances.
Sprinter models bearing the famous three-pointed star now account for well over half of the Scottish Ambulance Service fleet.
Supplied by Caledonian Truck & Van, the latest vehicles are all 5.0-tonne Sprinter 519 CDIs with muscular 190 hp six-cylinder engines.
The overwhelming majority are front-line accident and emergency ambulances. Most are now in service, with the last few due to start work in the coming weeks.
Also hitting the road are seven primary and secondary response units, four of them all-wheel drive variants with extra ground clearance, and three specialist vehicles for dealing with contamination incidents.
Completing the order, the authority will shortly take delivery of three paediatric ambulances, commissioned specifically for carrying injured and ill children.
Trevor Spowart, Scottish Ambulance’s General Manager Fleet Services, said: “The Sprinter is the only vehicle that meets all of our exacting requirements for performance, reliability and payload capacity, while we also benefit from Caledonian Truck & Van’s strong after sales support. Our ambulances average 1,000 miles per month and no other vehicle stands up as well to such a tough working life.”
He continued: “The weight of their fully equipped box bodies means the emergency response ambulances are already heavy, even before you factor in a patient and crew. This, coupled with the need to make rapid progress during ‘blue light’ incidents, means a powerful engine is essential. The Sprinter’s smooth V6 is very capable and offers all the performance we need, while also being impressively economical.”
Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, Scottish Ambulance Service’s Sprinters are back by three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranties. “This cover is another important attribute, as it underpins our intensive use requirements,” added Mr Spowart.
Scottish Ambulance Service employs a staff of more than 4,500 who serve the five million people living on the country’s mainland and islands.
Caledonian Truck & Van’s account manager Vyga Mikuckis said the very specific requirements and high standards required by the emergency service meant that no stone had been left unturned in order to find the right type of vehicles.
“We have worked very closely with Scottish Ambulance Service on understanding exactly what they need to ensure their vehicles are as effective as possible in emergency situations.
“The most important thing is that these vehicles have to save people’s lives, so it’s a very complex process to spec such a specialist vehicle.
“Reliability is absolutely key and the quality of Mercedes-Benz engineering and technology ensures that, while we also provide 24-seven technical support from our bases around Scotland.”