The Ambulance is an emergency vehicle that has appeared in every game in the series, except Grand Theft Auto 2, where it is known as the Medicar. Ambulances are usually found near hospitals and, in Grand Theft Auto III-era games, can be used to start the paramedic sub-mission.
The vehicle is invariably a van or truck-based emergency vehicle featuring red and white lights and sirens and a matching paint scheme (with the exception of GTA 1's Ambulance in Vice City, which features a green-white paint scheme). Throughout the series the siren sound has varied slightly, as has the design of the vehicle itself. If the player decides to go on a killing spree and many pedestrians are killed, an ambulance will arrive and two paramedics will get out and attempt to revive the wounded. Typically if paramedics are killed it creates more police attention than other civilians.
In all games between GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories, the player receives 20 points of health upon entering an Ambulance. In Grand Theft Auto IV, the player can even dial 911 to summon an Ambulance, from which the player can replenish their health for a price, or steal to regain some, but not all, of their health.
Ambulances in GTA 1 and GTA III through to GTA Vice City Stories are based on various generations of the Ford E-Series chassis, mainly the third and fourth generations, while the GTA London rendition is based on a European or British model, although given its angle, the vehicle's origins is unknown. Furthermore, the sound of the siren on each vehicle is distinct. Although the Ambulance in GTA IV sports a "Brute" badge on the front, it is clearly a modified version of the Declasse Burrito.
Handling-wise, the Ambulance was originally average in GTA 1 and GTA London, featuring good acceleration and grip but average top speed, braking and handling. Their base export value in GTA 1 and GTA London is also considerably high: $1,400 in GTA 1 and £900 in GTA London; however, the vehicle, like other emergency vehicles, cannot be exported. From GTA III onwards, the Ambulance is fairly fast for its class and has decent brakes, but is very top heavy and unstable, making it prone to rolling over under rough cornering. In GTA IV the Ambulance has a diesel engine which is very loud when the Ambulance is idling.
The Paramedic side-mission can be toggled on or off when driving the ambulance in all GTA III-era games. This mission requires the player to find, pick up and deliver patients to the hospital within a time limit, while endeavoring to drive as safely as possible (each bump further injures the passengers). With every level comes another patient to deliver, increasing the difficulty. Usually when the player beats level 12 the mission is complete (but can be carried on and replayed later) and a reward is achieved, e.g. infinite sprint or extra health.
- Ambulances featured between GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories feature a slightly altered "Star of Life", with a sperm in place of the "Rod of Asclepius" symbol
- In Grand Theft Auto IV Ambulance's lights underneath the truck flash red and blue but there are only red and white lights on the truck.
- In GTA IV, cops will shoot at the ambulance if they hit a pedestrian or police officer in the vehicle.
- In GTA IV an ambulance can be seen driving around with only the lights on.
- In GTA Vice City Stories, when turning on the sirens on while performing a Unique Stunt Jump, a special siren can be heard
In all its appearances, Ambulances, as mentioned, will be driven towards where multiple pedestrians are killed (by either the player or NPCs). In most games, Ambulances may also be found within hospital ground, which is listed below.
- GTA III, GTA Advance & GTA Liberty City Stories
- Sweeney General Hospital, Portland View, Portland Island
- Carson General Hospital, Rockford, Staunton Island
- Hope Medical College, Pike Creek, Shoreside Vale
- GTA Vice City & GTA Vice City Stories
- Ocean View Hospital, Ocean Beach
- Shady Palms Hospital, Vice Point
- West Haven Community Healthcare Center, Little Havana (Vice City Stories only)
- Schuman Health Care Center, Downtown
- GTA San Andreas
- County General Hospital, Jefferson, Los Santos
- All Saints General Hospital, Market, Los Santos
- Crippen Memorial, Montgomery, Red County
- Angel Pine Medical Center, Angel Pine, Whetstone
- San Fierro Medical Center, Santa Flora, San Fierro
- El Quebrados Medical Center, El Quebrados, Tierra Robada
- Fort Carson Medical Center, Fort Carson, Bone County
- Las Venturas Hospital, Las Venturas Airport, Las Venturas
- GTA IV
- Westdyke Memorial Hospital, Leftwood, Alderney
- Bohan Medical & Dental Center, Bohan
- Schottler Medical Center, Schottler, Broker
- Lancet-Hospital Center, Lancaster, Algonquin
- City Hall Hospital, City Hall, Algonquin
- Ambulances can be obtained by dialling 911 and choosing ambulance by dialing 2.
- Medicar, a car-based variant in GTA 2.