With the capacity to treat and carry up to 123 people, and an overall length of 20.03 metres, the world's largest ambulance - a large-capacity emergency ambulance based on the Mercedes-Benz Citaro articulated bus - has entered the Guinness Book of Records.
On Friday, 25 September 2009, an extraordinary record attempt took place in front of the Rhineland-Palatinate Federal State Parliament building in Mainz, Germany. Representatives from the Centre of Ambulance Services of the Government of Dubai, present at the event for the official hand-over of the bus, along with countless onlookers and a large media contingent, were in attendance as the official Guinness Book judges, the Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister Karl‑Peter Bruch and the President of the Rhineland-Palatinate Federal State Parliament Joachim Mertes took the measurements to determine the precise carrying capacity of the Citaro. The entry in the Guinness Book of records is attributed to the companies which designed, built and equipped the bus: Von Bergh Global Medical Consulting, Gebr. Heymann GmbH, Cytomed Middle East and EvoBus GmbH. Aid workers from the German Red Cross, the St. John's Ambulance organisation and the Samaritans simulated a major incident in which numerous accident victims received medical treatment simultaneously.
This simulation revealed that the large-capacity emergency ambulance is capable of treating and transporting up to 123 people. The variant of the articulated bus which broke the world record has an overall length of 20.03 metres (including a rear-mounted medical-supplies box) and is the third Mercedes-Benz large-capacity emergency ambulance to be delivered to Dubai. Two standard buses measuring 12 metres in length and one articulated bus measuring 18 metres in length are used as large-capacity emergency ambulances in Dubai. Bus variant A is designed as a mobile intensive-care unit, while variant B features equipment for the large-scale treatment and transport of medium to slightly injured accident victims. Bus variant C is a combination of variants A and B.
The three Mercedes-Benz clinic buses were ordered so that rapid medical assistance can be provided in the event of major incidents, i.e. accidents or disasters involving large numbers of injury victims. After all, the survival chances of very seriously injured people depend largely on them receiving rapid first-aid treatment. While a two-man crew is normally only able to care for one patient in an ambulance, up to 20 patients can receive care from four medical specialists in the Mercedes-Benz large-capacity emergency ambulance. The vehicles were produced by conversion specialist Gebrüder Heymann GmbH, based on the concept and design provided by international research and consultancy company Von Bergh Global Medical Consulting, which was also responsible for project management.
The entry in the Guinness Book of Records is the latest chapter in the Mercedes‑Benz Citaro success story. On 8 September, Citaro bus number 25,000 was handed over to a company called infra fürth verkehr gmbh, making the Citaro the most successful urban bus of all time.