Adaptable, Dependable, and Outstanding Ford Transit Tops Priority List for Middle East Ambulance Operators

Thursday 31 January 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

More and more ambulance operators throughout the Middle East are turning to the Ford Transit – the region’s fastest growing van brand – for its superior performance, class-leading load capacity and unrivaled vehicle flexibility.

Based on the renowned Ford Transit, the Transit ambulance continues to gain popularity and be adopted by emergency services throughout the region since its launch over the past two years. Three different examples of customised Transit ambulance conversions are on display at the 2019 Arab Health Exhibition this week in Dubai – all offering unique configurations for ambulance services in the region.

Ford’s Transit lineup has established a solid reputation around the world thanks to its unmatched capabilities and flexibility, fuel economy and safety ratings across the range – all much-needed features for Transit customers who demand that reliability at all times. And Transit is no stranger to the Middle East’s ambulance and emergency services organisations as demand for the van continues to grow in this particular segment, making Transit the leader in this specific category.

The Transit ambulance, developed by Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) as a project under the Dubai 10X initiative, was customised by American Emergency Vehicles in the US and fitted with the very latest patient care and safety equipment by Ferno-Washington, and telematics systems by Ferno-ACETECH.

While the technology fitted to the ambulance is some of the most advanced ever fitted to any emergency vehicle in the world, the entire unit takes its strength, ability and robust nature from its Transit underpinnings.

Leigh O’Brien, who leads development of the Transit 350 conversions for Ferno-Washington, explained: “From a convertor’s point of view, Ford makes our job a lot easier to configure and design. To stay competitive with other builders, the ability to predesign everything before you start building makes a huge difference.”

“From an operator’s standpoint, the Transit has a better payload and a powerful petrol engine which the competitors don’t offer in this region. From an ambulance operator’s point of view, it’s got a lower floor which makes it easier to load and unload stretchers.”

Eric Gallagher, CEO of Ferno-ACETECH Vehicle Intelligence, added: “Ford has been very proactive in this region, and globally in the whole emergency medical services sector. For us, it’s all about the support we’re getting from Ford, and it’s been tremendous. We’ve had some really great success in markets in the region with some significant orders from clients who have been driven by a concern for that level of support – and Ford absolutely came in and knocked it out of the park.”

Gallagher said that linking Ferno-Washington’s learnings with data from Ford and providing feedback to customers would also help them to better manage their vehicles.

“If we’re able to provide feedback that shows how the vehicle performs, how it runs its engine hours, how it’s being driven, and how long it spends in a garage as opposed to a competitor chassis – that’s incredibly important for everyone involved right through the ranks, from operational, fleet and a safety perspective.”

The next customised ambulance conversion, Profile Optimus, is showcased by Finnish-based modifier Profile Vehicles Oy, which was established 36 years ago and currently builds ambulances in Finland, Estonia and Hungary for customers around the world. Since its creation, the company has shipped around 8,000 emergency vehicles to clients in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Singapore, and Finland

The company bases its Profile Optimus range of ambulances on the Transit 350 which offers choice of two roof heights and three body lengths. All vehicles are built to European standard (EN1789) for patient transport or as emergency ambulances.

Narinder Singh, business development executive for Profile Vehicles Oy, said: “We have been working with Ford throughout the history of the company but recently we have found the Transit to be one of the most fitting chassis here for the Middle East market because of the powertrain.

“The T-350 is really the optimal model for us to do our conversions. The high roof means we don’t have to do any additional structural work on the van. It has a powerful engine which is something a lot of people here in the Gulf want. It is a fantastic vehicle.”

The third ambulance conversion on display – specifically for people of determination – was designed and engineered by Abu Dhabi-based firm Bristol, and also bases its EN 1789 ambulance on the Transit 350 van.

Farid Ismail, business unit manager for Bristol Vehicles, says Ford’s ambulance package – which includes dual heavy duty batteries, heavy duty alternator and a modified vehicle wiring system, helps his company to complete its conversions.

“It makes it easier for us in terms of electrical load and in terms of the air-conditioning. It even comes with the fixed glass on the sliding door, so it is not a cargo van that we then convert. It is meant for ambulance uses, so this helps us a lot when we do our conversion.”

Globally, Transit has enjoyed continued success with more and more businesses relying on Ford Transit to get the job done for over 50 years. From refrigerator van to ambulance, premium people-carrier to cargo mover, Transit offers both unparalleled versatility, and exceptional value for money, making it a firm favourite among businesses investing in the Ford brand.

“Ford has seen considerable increase in Transit van sales across the region, reflecting the confidence customers have in the Transit brand,” said Mahendra Menon, Commercial Vehicles Operations Manager, Ford Middle East and Africa. “Its unparalleled versatility is key to its popularity in the region, something highlighted by it being the vehicle of choice for so many fleet operators and SME businesses.”

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