Fact Check-Photo does not show world’s first ambulance service

Users are sharing a photograph of an old ambulance vehicle and claiming that it shows the first ambulance system in the world. This claim is false. There are reports of ambulance systems dating back to the 1400s.

Examples can be seen here , here and here , with some posts dating the photograph to 1930 or 1830.

The original photograph is available on Getty Images here with the caption: “29th July 1941: A one-man anti-gas ambulance and resuscitator, designed and made for use by the Home Guard.”

The first ambulance service in the U.S. was created by the U.S. Army in 1865, as discussed here. Photographs of the ambulances can be seen here .

In 1792, French army surgeon Dominique-Jean Larrey invented an ambulance service to transport wounded soldiers (here ).

The earliest reports of an ambulance system Reuters found was when Spanish forces transported patients with carts during the siege of Malaga in 1487. Further reading on this can be seen here and here .


False. The photograph does not show the world’s first ambulance. The photograph was taken in 1941 and ambulance systems date back to 1487.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .