When Joan Woehrmann started her ambulance company in Whittier, CA, in 1955, she hit on a pretty brilliant acronym: AIDS. The letters stood for attitude, integrity, dependability, and service, which are all great qualities for an ambulance line. The name was also easy to remember in times of crisis.
By 1985, the LA Times reported that Woehrmann’s drivers were being taunted and that the public mistakenly started to think that the line only transported AIDS patients. Finally, she had enough and changed the line’s name to “AME,” even giving up the ambulances’ customized line of “AIDS 1” and “AIDS 2” license plates.