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Ambulance Driver (Medical Services)

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Synonyms: Ambulance driver (government services); Red Cross (or similar organization) ambulance driver

Job profile

Definition and/or description


Drives ambulance to transport sick, injured or convalescent persons. Places patients on stretcher and loads stretcher into ambulance, usually with help of ambulance attendant (medical services). Takes sick or injured persons to hospital, or convalescent to destination, using knowledge and skill to avoid sudden motions detrimental to patients. Changes soiled linen on stretcher. Administers first aid as needed. May shackle violent patients. May report facts concerning accident or emergency to hospital personnel or law enforcement officials (DOT). Also: a person who drives a medical emergency vehicle, ambulance or hospital services (civil or military) vehicle; may assist in delivering babies inside the ambulance.

Related and specific occupations


Ambulance attendant; ambulance-team/nursing aid; funeral car/hearse driver/ chauffeur; hospital/clinic driver; medical services driver; military ambulance driver; motor-vehicle driver (medical services); police ambulance driver; private ambulance driver.



Administering (medicines, oxygen, etc.); assisting; carrying; changing; cleaning; communicating; driving; documenting; handling; honking; lifting; loading; locating; logging; maintaining; mending; operating; placing; pulling and pushing; repairing; reporting; restraining; reviving; servicing; shackling; stretching; transporting; warning; writing.


Accident hazards


– Increased risk of road accidents due to high driving speeds under emergency conditions (including crossing intersections during red traffic light, driving on sidewalks and steep slopes while trying to reach destination through traffic jams);

– Slips, trips and falls (on stairs or on the level) while carrying stretchers and loads or assisting patients;

– Injuries as a result of carrying out various functions (field repair tasks, tyre changes, etc.) of a vehicle driver (see truck driver, chauffeur, etc.);

– Sudden release of compressed gases (e.g., oxygen or anaesthetic gases) inside the ambulance.

Physical hazards


– Exposure to high noise levels from the emergency horn;

– Exposure to radioactive isotopes (in some countries where ambulance are used for the transport of radioisotopes to hospitals).

Chemical hazards


– Exposure to anaesthetic gases administered to patients inside the ambulance;

– Dermatitis caused by excessive use of rinsing, cleaning and disinfecting agents.

Biological hazards


– Exposure to contagious diseases from patients;

– Potential exposure to body fluids of patients (e.g., blood from wounds).

Ergonomic and social factors


– Back pains and other musculoskeletal problems resulting from overexertion and wrong postures during lifting and otherwise moving of patients, driving over bumpy roads, repairing vehicles on road, etc.;

– Psychological stress due to dangerous driving under time pressure, contact with accident victims, terminal patients and dead bodies, unusual working schedules, prolonged states of alertness, etc.



International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (CIS). 1995. International Safety Datasheets on Occupations. Steering Committee meeting, 9-10 March. Geneva: ILO.



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