Ambulances as Bombs - Now a Reality

I remember reading in an article in the mid-1990s that warned, hypothetically, about the use of ambulances to transport bombs for terrorist incidents. It was shortly after Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City using a rental...


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The other unfortunate side of using an ambulance as a truck bomb is that there is plenty of room in the rear patient compartment area to load the vehicle with explosives. Type I and Type III ambulances are larger than the van used in the 1993 World Trade Center attack and that vehicle was estimated to have 1,500 pounds of explosives in it. A Type I or Type III ambulance could easily carry over 2,000 pounds of explosives.

All we can do is what we are doing: Report suspicious activity, and it is especially important to report any thefts of ambulances to federal as well as local authorities.

GARY LUDWIG, MS, EMT-P, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a deputy fire chief with the Memphis, TN, Fire Department. He has 30 years of fire-rescue service experience. Ludwig is chairman of the EMS Section for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), has a master's degree in business and management, and is a licensed paramedic. He is a frequent speaker at EMS and fire conferences nationally and internationally, and can be reached through his website at www.garyludwig.com.