As recently as the 1970s, an ambulance and a hearse looked almost the same, except for the paint job.
That changed in part because of the work of Horton Emergency Vehicles, a company that helped to develop the van-based ambulance and remains a leading manufacturer of the vehicles.
“Back in the day, the same vehicle picked you up, and whether you went to the funeral home or the hospital depended on the condition,” said Lance Randolph, the company’s vice president and general manager, repeating an old saying in the industry.
Horton has about 450 employees in Grove City and sells to customers across the country. Founded in 1968 by local entrepreneurs, the company is now owned by Rev Group, a Wisconsin-based conglomerate that has more than two dozen RV and emergency-vehicle brands.