They sail around the Saturday night streets containing ladies blowing whistles and wearing cheap plastic fireman helmets, brandishing L-plates and Bacardi Breezers, filling their whooping gullets while loudly tormenting the night’s pedestrians. Fire Engine Limos have proved to be a revolution in the entertainment of drunk women. The unprecedented popularity of the novelty limo service astounded many in the Limousine Industry and Fire Brigade. Its simple conversion from life saving emergency vehicle to mobile theme pub was low cost and successful amongst the punters, who often reported to be having a great time amongst the screeching and vomiting. Riding through the centre of town in their best outfits, the orange skinned throng roars with boozed laughter, screaming its multi-handed wave at fellow drinkers and bemused pedestrians.
“Oi, sexy arse,” they quip, “Show us your arse!”

The Limousine service is now one of Glasgow’s largest service industries, employing over 100 former firemen as drivers and chaperones. The range of choice has expanded, with Ambulance and Air Sea Rescue Helicopter Limos also proving exceedingly popular. The vehicles are even having to be brought in from neighbouring towns and cities, with emergency services making adjustments in fleet size where appropriate, to supply the demand. By the end of 2007, Fire Engine Limo, or ‘Emergency Party Hire’ companies, as they had become known, owned 55% of the Fire Engines and 39% of Ambulances in Glasgow. Other UK cities followed suite.

Feeling the strain of increasing levels of night time violence in city centres, the Emergency Services signed a £70 million contract with the largest Emergency Party Hire company, 999-P-A-R-T-Y, for them to provide rapid response vehicles and crews for local health trusts and fire brigades in mainland Britain. The move was applauded for its modern approach and bold new thinking by both the public and private sectors. October 2008 saw the first Ambulance Limo diverted to emergency use, a 55 year old man collapsing in an ASDA car park from a massive heart attack. He was delivered to the Glasgow Infirmary by a hen night travelling in a 1984 Leyland Ambulance and sadly declared dead on arrival. But the ability of amateur paramedics to perform while inebriated and carry out a task, such as transporting a body, successfully and quickly, had been demonstrated.

The arrangement was seen as positive in the eyes of the general public as well. With as many as twenty nine Fire Engine, fifteen ambulance limos and two party hire rescue helicopters circling Glasgow city centre on a Saturday night, people saw the service as a way for young drunk people to give back to the community, to be able to look after other drunk people who had been involved in various fights or accidents during the course of the evening, and at the same time learn valuable search, rescue and first aid skills.