The First Call vehicle is used in the funeral service industry. This type of vehicle is used to pick up the remains of a recently deceased person, and transport that person to the funeral home for preparation. This initial pickup is called the "first call", hence the name of these vehicles. While some funeral homes will use the hearse for these initial pickups, having vehicles for first calls and using the hearse solely for funerals reduces wear on hearses and makes the first call process more discreet.
Today, the vehicles usually used for this service are minivans. In some cases, funeral homes purchase minivans that have been converted into first call vehicles by the same companies that produce hearses. In other cases, general purpose minivans are purchased without the rear seats installed.
Conversion on these ranged from tinting or blacking-out the rear windows, and installing a metal deck (or sometimes, just bars) to secure the stretcher or casket, to having the rear section modified as a landau and the installation of a casket tray, similar to a hearse. Many of these remain in service.
A removable casket floor and landau panels, combined with the Stow & Go seating, make the funeral vans easy to modify for any situation, whether transporting flowers or going to an at-need call.
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