What’s the Best Emergency Vehicle for New England Winters?

The Ford Interceptor Utility is the most common vehicle among Northeastern police departments, but is it the best?

byMax Goldberg|
What’s the Best Emergency Vehicle for New England Winters?


New England is currently getting pounded with snow. Although many schools and businesses are closed, members of the emergency services don't have that option; police and other first responders respond to calls. Indeed, the treacherous conditions often mean more work for such public servants, not less. So it's important that cops, firefighters, and EMS personnel have vehicles that can plow through bad weather safely and securely.  

Over the last several years, emergency service fleets in the Northeast have largely switched from Ford Crown Victorias and Chevrolet Tahoes to the Ford Interceptor and Ford Interceptor Utility vehicles. But as you can see in this video posted by the Bangor Police Department, Mother Nature can easily stop any SUV in its tracks: 

With that in mind, however—what is the best vehicle for New England winter operations?

Ford has done a fantastic job catering to the emergency services with purpose-built Police Interceptors, but certain areas may be lacking. Many municipalities throughout New England—the Hingham Police Deparment in Massachusetts, for example—have taken to the Ford Interceptor Utility.

Opting for the Ford Interceptor Utility means departments have to deal with AWD system that doesn't offer the ability to adjust your four-wheel-drive between 4-High and 4-Low. But the 6.5 inches of ground clearance, 304 hp engine, and an AWD system appears to be enough for most departments, like Eastchester EMS.

The Chevrolet Tahoe SSV, on the other hand, has adjustable four-wheel-drive, 10.7 inches of ground clearance, and a 355-horsepower V8. But the Chevy also weighs a significant amount more fully loaded, which comes with its own issues. 

According to a local police department's mechanic, the Ford Interceptor Utility is better balanced and is easier to control overall. As he pointed out, there is a reason why departments everywhere are turning to the Interceptor Utility. The SUV’s ability to handle at high speeds during day-to-day operations outweighs whatever flaws it has.

Still, each police, fire and EMS agency is unique, and may prefer a different vehicle. There are currently emergency service packages for the Ford Interceptor Utility, the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Tahoe, the Chevrolet Silverado, the Ram 1500, the Dodge Durango and the Ford Expedition

Are you a first responder? Let us know in the comments what vehicle you use for day-to-day operations and what vehicle you prefer.