The history of the ambulance begins in ancient times, with the use of carts to transport incurable patients, with psychiatric problems or leprosy, by force. There is evidence of such an ambulance and was probably a hammock based cart constructed around 900 AD by the Anglo-Saxons.
During the Crusades of the 11th Century, the Knights of St John received instruction in first-aid treatment from Arab and Greek doctors. The Knights of St John then acted as the first emergency workers, treating soldiers on both sides of the war of the battlefield and bringing in the wounded to nearby tents for further treatment.
The first record of ambulances being used for emergency purposes was the use by Queen Isabella of Spain, in 1487. The Spanish army of the time was treated extremely well and attracted volunteers from across the continent, and among their benefits was the first military hospitals or 'ambulancias.'
But Bellevue Hospital in New York City is credited with establishing the first hospital-based civilian ambulance service in the United States. The horse-and-buggy teams were organized by Dr. Edward L. Dalton in 1869. These ambulances carried medical equipment, such as splints, a stomach pump, morphine, and brandy, reflecting contemporary medicine.
However, the first motor powered ambulance was brought in to service in the last year of the 19th century, with the Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, taking delivery of the first automobile ambulance, in February 1899.
1928, the Australian Inland Mission service established the Aerial Medical Service, a one year experimental program. In the 1950s the United States pioneered helicopter-ambulances during the Korean War.