We Love Our Four Wheel Drives
My FD has run three 4x4 type I ambulances for over 15 years. With a replacement purchased every three years for 9 year life, we've had at least 7 different ones in my time (can't count and they're not really memorable like fire apparatus).
To date I cannot think of a single danger issue they've presented as 4wd's. They are taller and therefore slightly elevate the "sail" in high winds, but it's hardly noticeable compared to a larger box type III. The "Superman" syndrome:confused: does come into play when a neighboring town calls M/A for Superman because they're stuck or can't make a remote location due to weather.:D This is rare, but happens (twice this winter). Knocking on wood, I cannot remember one being stuck, ever.:)
They are more expensive. About $10-14K upfront for the F350 and now F450. In my time we've only owned one Chevy, which rode the best. Which brings up another downside, the ride is far less smooth. We have an average of 4 loaded mile run, so ride quality is not a huge issue. We rarely have any 4x4 issues, with most issues still being under the hood on the Ford's. Our replacement plan has moved up to replace them every 8 years as the last year always ends up with major issues and very low trade-in value.
Right now they're speccing to replace our 2003, leaving a 2006 and 2010 for later years. Our units rotate from frontline to second and third due each month, to even out the mileage/hours. Go ahead and ask away, I'll answer what I know, I must admit I'm not part of speccing the bone buses, so I know little about the detailed spec.