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Steve Loftin
10-24-2010, 05:19 PM
Area Ambulance Service (aka Le Flore County Emergency Service) was a loosely operated, take-your-chances private service in Poteau, OK. One of their vehicles was this 1975-or-so Wayne/Chevrolet Care-O-Van. Original warning equipment included dual #184 beacons, the usual perimeter/tunnel lighting, and a #PA-20A with dual CP25s. To this A.A.S. added a Twinsonic as well as a Visibar, a North American electronic siren with dual TS-24 speakers, a Q2B, and grille lights. I estimate the draw from the warning lights alone to be 134 amps! Add in front/rear A/C (if/when it worked), headlights, and dual electronic sirens as well as the Q; well, you can imagine the potential for problems!

(SL photo)

Steve Loftin
10-24-2010, 05:34 PM
Wadley A.S. (Purcell, OK)
1978 Summers/Chevrolet
In addition to 12 flashers, this rig had an 8-bulb Code 3 light bar and
3 Unity 4-bulb beacons. Plus, of course, a 200-watt electronic siren as well as a Q2B. The rotating lights alone on this car pull over 110 amps!

(WAS photo)

Kelley-Hixson F.H. (Beaumont, TX)
1976 Superior 54"
With four #184s and two extra flashers, this girl probably had an electrical load similar to that of Reeb F.H.'s '73. I hope these cars had high-idle switches!

(Bob Knowles photo)

Mike Burkhart - Deceased 1948 - 2016
10-24-2010, 05:40 PM
Steve,
While going to mortuary school in Edmond, I worked for Baggerley Funeral Home (1971-1974). They had just got out of the Ambulance Service just before that. They still had their 1957 red and white Pontiac Station Wagon which was one of their past ambulances. It had a Q2 mounted on the right front fender and a Bubble light on top. One of the guys still claims he had embedded fingerprints under the edge of the dash where he hung on for dear life!!

I done my embalmer/Funeral Director practicum at Sherman-Demuth in Britton, OK. They had 8 Ambulances, 2 new 1973 hightops, several older combo's (Caddy's) and a suburban ambulance. There were days when I would see all of them out on calls at the same time. The Mortuary school would not let us ride out on the Ambo's, but I snuck a few rides here and there without getting caught. It was fun!!

Mike

Steve Loftin
10-24-2010, 06:08 PM
Steve,
While going to mortuary school in Edmond, I worked for Baggerley Funeral Home (1971-1974). They had just got out of the Ambulance Service just before that. They still had their 1957 red and white Pontiac Station Wagon which was one of their past ambulances. It had a Q2 mounted on the right front fender and a Bubble light on top. One of the guys still claims he had embedded fingerprints under the edge of the dash where he hung on for dear life!!

I done my embalmer/Funeral Director practicum at Sherman-Demuth in Britton, OK. They had 8 Ambulances, 2 new 1973 hightops, several older combo's (Caddy's) and a suburban ambulance. There were days when I would see all of them out on calls at the same time. The Mortuary school would not let us ride out on the Ambo's, but I snuck a few rides here and there without getting caught. It was fun!!

Mike

Sherman-Demuth covered much of the far north side of Oklahoma City for ambulance work. You may remember that Pioneer covered the near north side. These and the other funeral home operations went out of the ambulance business when AmCare took over in 1978.

If you ever get back to the Demuth place, ask to look at their photo album. It is a treasure trove of cars they've owned over the years.

Steve Loftin
10-24-2010, 06:15 PM
...probably as noisy a chief's car as there ever was, inside the car as well as outside! The Houston F.D. had several "buggies" (chief's vehicles), like this 1974 Dodge, set up this way. The beacons were Supers and the electronic sirens were Interceptors. I wonder how long the Visibar assembly lasted with all of that weight on it, plus the torque of the siren?

All that's missing is a Grover #1510 "stuttertone" air horn!

(Duane Troxel photo)

Bruce Oliphant
10-24-2010, 10:08 PM
The rattle would get so bad that they actually used tennis balls (2) wedged between the bar and the roof to stop some of the vibration. We did this through the late 80's around here. (We were rednecks :thumb:)

Todd Merrifield
10-24-2010, 11:09 PM
Hmmm....I'm getting there. 2 MARS lights, 1 Federal 174, 3 tunnel lights, 2 loading lights and 2 spots, plus 2 Grover 1510's and 2 B&M CS8's (although we all know two CS8's use the same power as 1 Q2B :clap: (right Kev?)

http://www.tmcarphoto.com/GMC/gmcpcsref.jpg

At least I have a second battery and a bigger alternator. And I know all that stuff will work together for AT LEAST a quarter mile...

Scott A. Anderson
10-25-2010, 11:27 AM
I'm remembering the old days of riding shotgun in a hightop '69 Superior at night with the normal front/side/rear flashers and dual 184 lights on the roof. The rotating 184 lights would reflect off the store front windows as they turned when we drove by. In fact we always looked at one of the stores about a block away from the garage to make sure we were lit up before we came to the first major intersection.

When the driver stood on the the Q siren switch, the 184's would slow and eventually stop rotating. As he let off, they would slowly start rotating again. On the way back with me in the back with a patient, the interior lights would dim and the A/C fan would slow down when he stood on the siren.

Got to love those Q's though.

John ED Renstrom
10-25-2010, 11:57 AM
why????????????????? would any one love an efficient boat anchor.

Steve Lichtman
10-25-2010, 05:27 PM
You've all seen my little Stude Ambulet, with two small flashers and a WL siren-light on it. That's how it came from the Studebaker dealer (I think the dealer added the flashers, they don't seem to be factory). It also had factory fog lights.

But the owner of Nashwauk Ambulance, Frank "Bingo" Blair, liked flashy things. He added a few things to the car as he "didn't feel like it attracted enough attention". (Note to Bingo: you had the only ambulance in town, it attracted plenty of attention just by being there.) Anyway, he replaced the flashers with Trippe rotating beacons - the ball-shaped gizmos over the windsheild. And he added a Q2B siren to the right fender. And a small bar with a single red, sealed beam flasher on the front bumper. And a spotlight. The WL siren-light remained on the roof. And never upgraded the alternator on the little station wagon. Overloaded? You betcha! All this on a 6v system, too!

The guys who drove it said they could definately note the electrical draw (and continuing problems) from all this, so they seldom used the Q siren.

(He also added lots of chrome trim, rear-view mirrors, and much bigger tires.)

Yes, that's Bingo in the picture. You didn't argue with him. He was the town cop, too.

Steve Loftin
10-28-2010, 12:01 AM
why????????????????? would any one love an efficient boat anchor.

Why? Simple: When I see brake lights coming on up to a mile ahead of me, I know that my siren has been heard!

Steve Loftin
05-14-2012, 11:58 AM
I done my embalmer/Funeral Director practicum at Sherman-Demuth in Britton, OK. They had 8 Ambulances, 2 new 1973 hightops, several older combo's (Caddy's) and a suburban ambulance. There were days when I would see all of them out on calls at the same time. The Mortuary school would not let us ride out on the Ambo's, but I snuck a few rides here and there without getting caught. It was fun!!

Why wouldn't CSU let students make ambulance calls?

Richard Vyse
05-14-2012, 12:20 PM
Seems funny how I never had electrical issues until I hooked this beast up. Perhaps it caused me electrical overload blowing my alternator. Of course with 26 lights (plus mechanical beacon rotating motors) and 3 sirens it just might be at it's limit not including interior lights or headlights.

So far at least, now an issue with newly rebuilt alternator.

Paul Steinberg
05-14-2012, 12:46 PM
You need to put some air horns on that ambulance..:badbad:

Steve Loftin
05-14-2012, 12:52 PM
Seems funny how I never had electrical issues until I hooked this beast up. Perhaps it caused me electrical overload blowing my alternator. Of course with 26 lights (plus mechanical beacon rotating motors) and 3 sirens it just might be at it's limit not including interior lights or headlights.

The factory alternator's 145-amp rating was achieved at sea level and at 70 degrees. At normal engine operating temperature on a warm day, it would be putting out less than 110 amps at highway speed.

Your current warning light load alone is around 114 amps. Turn on the A/C and use the siren, and you can expect problems - especially at idle or parade speed.

Mike Burkhart - Deceased 1948 - 2016
05-14-2012, 01:01 PM
Steve,
They said it did not fit in with the "Apprentice Embalmer" Practicum. We were not allowed to ride out on ambulance calls. I made several one man death calls in their ambulances though...........

I guess they thought that we would be stuck out on ambulance calls instead of doing Embalmer duties.........Like I said, I snuck out on a few ambulance runs, and I'm glad I did. The first job I had out of school was in Jetmore, KS, and we ran the ambulance service for Hodgeman County. No training, O2 and a first aid kit.

Richard Vyse
05-14-2012, 01:17 PM
You need to put some air horns on that ambulance..:badbad:

No way man, looks horrible.

Russell Dalziel
05-14-2012, 01:21 PM
No way man, looks horrible.
Send the AirHorns to Michigan And I will make sure Your Donation will be put to good use


Russ

Paul Steinberg
05-14-2012, 01:25 PM
Send the AirHorns to Michigan And I will make sure Your Donation will be put to good use


Russ

Get in line... I asked for them before he even picked the car up, and commented that they were going to be the first things removed. I also suggested to him that he keep them, in case someone wanted to put them back. Now that he has the roof area fully "populated", I don't see that as ever happening, so he should give them to me when I am in Florida for the International Meet.

Dan Herrick
05-14-2012, 02:14 PM
Get in line... I asked for them before he even picked the car up, and commented that they were going to be the first things removed. I also suggested to him that he keep them, in case someone wanted to put them back. Now that he has the roof area fully "populated", I don't see that as ever happening, so he should give them to me when I am in Florida for the International Meet.

And if he did give them to you in Florida how would you get them home? :confused2::confused2:

I know, you have a friend that is driving down and you could give them to him (i.e. me) and of course that would mean that I would have a set of air horns! :D:D

Paul Steinberg
05-14-2012, 02:15 PM
And if he did give them to you in Florida how would you get them home? :confused2::confused2:

I know, you have a friend that is driving down and you could give them to him (i.e. me) and of course that would mean that I would have a set of air horns! :D:D

You forgot the word.......FREE!!

John Royark JR
05-14-2012, 04:57 PM
No way man, looks horrible.

Not horrible, unique. A well documented original, now modified to look like everyone elses. :beatdeadhorse5:

Russell Dalziel
05-16-2012, 01:23 PM
And if he did give them to you in Florida how would you get them home? :confused2::confused2:

I know, you have a friend that is driving down and you could give them to him (i.e. me) and of course that would mean that I would have a set of air horns! :D:D

He could put them in his carry on bag (like someone else I know that had combination spotlights/flashhers in his carry on bag LOL)


Russ

Kyle Martin
05-16-2012, 09:25 PM
we ran 2 altenators on ours. you could order them at summers. we bought 4 e250 hightops in 76 and they ran 140 amp. alt. they all had intercepters and 4 4way beacons as well as 8 flashers and never had a problem until i took a q2 we had and insalled it . burned up altenators like crazy. in 78 we bought a modulance with van e350 chassis and it came with 2 alt. it ran 1 interceptor and a q2 and we never had any problems and it had 6 a ways 8 sealed beam flashers as well as loding and ditch lites and 2 sealed beamd on cowl. probaly my favorite ambulance i ever drove. it rode like a logwagon but you could see it and hear it a mile away. when we bought wheeled coaches in 79 all 3 had 2 alt. and they all had q2s and a lightbars and when 10-97 at the hospital you could actually turn your unit off and it would start everytime. god i miss those days.ive got pictures of these units and i will post them after im allowd and i figure out this new scanner i just bought. also just found 62 and 63 chevy station wagon amb. photos and 73 pont consort? swb we bought new in 73. it would fly 455. ramling... see ya

Richard Vyse
05-16-2012, 09:33 PM
Two alternators, I would love to see a rig with two.

Steve Loftin
11-16-2013, 05:19 PM
The rattle would get so bad that they actually used tennis balls (2) wedged between the bar and the roof to stop some of the vibration. We did this through the late 80's around here.

...as seen here in Midland, TX:

Bill Anderson
11-25-2013, 05:31 PM
Back then the amount of tennis balls was proportinate to the buffeting of the roof under the visibar.

Kevin Lynch
11-25-2013, 05:51 PM
Any reason they ran the wires outside on the A pillar? Did they want to be able to do a fast disconnect? I've never seen this before!

Steve Loftin
11-25-2013, 06:32 PM
Any reason they ran the wires outside on the A pillar? Did they want to be able to do a fast disconnect? I've never seen this before!

The Houston F.D. had several "buggies" (chief's vehicles), like this 1974 Dodge, set up this way. The beacons were Supers and the electronic sirens were Interceptors. I wonder how long the Visibar assembly lasted with all of that weight on it, plus the torque of the siren?


That bar has clamps that attach to the drip rails, so the mounting bracket feet can be used only as support. Assuming the feet aren't bolted to the roof, this would've been a "no holes" installation and thereby easy to move from car to car.

With that much weight on the bar, the feet should've been bolted through the roof and to a large steel reinforcement plate beneath.

John Eder
11-26-2013, 12:04 AM
I've been in the fire truck business for 25+ years, and remember all too well the nightmares of overloaded incandescent emergency lighting systems and electromechanical sirens. Modern LED lights have essentially eliminated the lighting draw issues, but I realize that they are not age-appropriate for most of our vehicles.

High idle switches can still be found in use, but an easy trick is to run a smaller than stock alternator pulley to spin it faster at idle, giving greater output at idle. I do this with every International/Navistar chassis that I order. I use a 2.4" diameter pulley on a Leece Neville 240 amp alternator- works great.

Skip Goulet
02-06-2014, 06:22 PM
Area Ambulance Service (aka Le Flore County Emergency Service) was a loosely operated, take-your-chances private service in Poteau, OK. One of their vehicles was this 1975-or-so Wayne/Chevrolet Care-O-Van. Original warning equipment included dual #184 beacons, the usual perimeter/tunnel lighting, and a #PA-20A with dual CP25s. To this A.A.S. added a Twinsonic as well as a Visibar, a North American electronic siren with dual TS-24 speakers, a Q2B, and grille lights. I estimate the draw from the warning lights alone to be 134 amps! Add in front/rear A/C (if/when it worked), headlights, and dual electronic sirens as well as the Q; well, you can imagine the potential for problems!

(SL photo)

Easterling F.H. in Odessa had a pair of these, but they weren't quite as elaborate. Steve has pix of another unusual Easterling ambulance: a hightop short Olds ambulance. Easterling's two Care-O-Vans went to a private service when Easterling got out of it and they were later to sold to someone in Mexico.

BTW, Steve. someone has posted this on the elightbars board today.

Terry Broussard
02-06-2014, 07:37 PM
Hope to add the four Model 14's as soon as it warms up a bit. Have them pre-wired and in the garage ready to go just like old days.

Corner beacons...it's the Acadian Way!

Skip Goulet
02-07-2014, 05:27 PM
Hope to add the four Model 14's as soon as it warms up a bit. Have them pre-wired and in the garage ready to go just like old days.

Corner beacons...it's the Acadian Way!

Very nice, Terry. Didn't realize that Acadian has been around that long. I've only been familiar with them since the '70s.

Skip Goulet
02-13-2014, 05:38 PM
...probably as noisy a chief's car as there ever was, inside the car as well as outside! The Houston F.D. had several "buggies" (chief's vehicles), like this 1974 Dodge, set up this way. The beacons were Supers and the electronic sirens were Interceptors. I wonder how long the Visibar assembly lasted with all of that weight on it, plus the torque of the siren?

All that's missing is a Grover #1510 "stuttertone" air horn!

(Duane Troxel photo)

Do you know what dept. this one is from, Steve? The late Duane Troxel shot a lot of pix around Lubbock, but LFD never had anything like this one.

Skip Goulet
02-14-2014, 06:35 PM
Hmmm....I'm getting there. 2 MARS lights, 1 Federal 174, 3 tunnel lights, 2 loading lights and 2 spots, plus 2 Grover 1510's and 2 B&M CS8's (although we all know two CS8's use the same power as 1 Q2B :clap: (right Kev?)

http://www.tmcarphoto.com/GMC/gmcpcsref.jpg

At least I have a second battery and a bigger alternator. And I know all that stuff will work together for AT LEAST a quarter mile...

Can we see pix of this setup, Todd?

Kyle Martin
02-14-2014, 07:11 PM
Do you know what dept. this one is from, Steve? The late Duane Troxel shot a lot of pix around Lubbock, but LFD never had anything like this one.

skip, Houston fire dept. chiefs car driven by a chauffer as all hpd capt.s had a chauffer and q2 interceptor and twin beacons. 440 ci police interceptor with hd everything. know these cars very well. had a ex chiefs car in 73 and it would fly. ran out of gear about 130 but got there real quick. all station chiefs and captains had these cars. 2 batteries also. ordered that way from Chrysler. 2 tennis balls between the light bar and roof for stability. I know of only one that came off a car and it fell of on the freeway at a high rate of speed.

Skip Goulet
02-14-2014, 07:23 PM
skip, Houston fire dept. chiefs car driven by a chauffer as all hpd capt.s had a chauffer and q2 interceptor and twin beacons. 440 ci police interceptor with hd everything. know these cars very well. had a ex chiefs car in 73 and it would fly. ran out of gear about 130 but got there real quick. all station chiefs and captains had these cars. 2 batteries also. ordered that way from Chrysler. 2 tennis balls between the light bar and roof for stability. I know of only one that came off a car and it fell of on the freeway at a high rate of speed.

I noticed after I had posted the question that Steve had mentioned Houston. Another senior moment, you know! I would've liked to have seen Lubbock run something like that. One of the first times I ever visited the Lubbock FD was my senior year and I went to Lubbock to check out Texas Tech. I was able to stop by the then-central fire station: that was in April of 1963. They were putting a new batt. chief's car together. It was a red Chevy sedan and back then the only emergency equipment was a single red 174 beacon with a 66G siren behind the beacon. When I went to Lubbock to stay in 1968, the batt. chief's cars were red Plymouth wagons with the same 174 beacons, but had four red Dietz lollipops and twin CP25 speakers powered by Interceptors. In '72 the District 1 batt. chief had a Chevy wagon with a VisiBar with clear domes and red/blue bulbs along with twin CP25s and an Interceptor. District 2 had a Plymouth wagon with a Unity-type bar with the old 174 in the center, twin lollipops and speakers. I've been away from Lubbock since '91 so I don't know what their chiefs run nowadays. I've never seen a Q on LFD equipment, so there's no telling!

Steve Loftin
02-14-2014, 08:03 PM
Can we see pix of this setup, Todd?

Photos of this vehicle are posted many times (and places) on this site.

Steve Loftin
02-14-2014, 08:04 PM
Do you know what dept. this one is from, Steve? The late Duane Troxel shot a lot of pix around Lubbock, but LFD never had anything like this one.

Yes, I do. Did you happen to read the description in the original post?

Skip Goulet
02-19-2014, 05:01 PM
...as seen here in Midland, TX:

Now that's an old pic. This is from the original Central Station on the east side of Downtown Midland that was replaced during my time in Lubbock.

Skip Goulet
02-19-2014, 05:08 PM
we ran 2 altenators on ours. you could order them at summers. we bought 4 e250 hightops in 76 and they ran 140 amp. alt. they all had intercepters and 4 4way beacons as well as 8 flashers and never had a problem until i took a q2 we had and insalled it . burned up altenators like crazy. in 78 we bought a modulance with van e350 chassis and it came with 2 alt. it ran 1 interceptor and a q2 and we never had any problems and it had 6 a ways 8 sealed beam flashers as well as loding and ditch lites and 2 sealed beamd on cowl. probaly my favorite ambulance i ever drove. it rode like a logwagon but you could see it and hear it a mile away. when we bought wheeled coaches in 79 all 3 had 2 alt. and they all had q2s and a lightbars and when 10-97 at the hospital you could actually turn your unit off and it would start everytime. god i miss those days.ive got pictures of these units and i will post them after im allowd and i figure out this new scanner i just bought. also just found 62 and 63 chevy station wagon amb. photos and 73 pont consort? swb we bought new in 73. it would fly 455. ramling... see ya

The Longview FD bought a Pontiac Wagon in 1966 and took it to Gordon K. Allen to have the emergency equipment installed. GKA installed five Dietz 211 beacons on the roof, with the center rear beacon mounted on an elevated stanchion. And they had mounted three Qs, all side-by-side between the front two beacons. The late Travis Hagen who was one of GKA's longtime salesmen and who lived in Lubbock was in on the equipping of this ambulance. He said that he and the Longview fire chief took every single Q that GKA had in stock and went outside the city to test them all out. Seems that the chief wanted different pitches on each of the three sirens and it took some time to get them the way the chief wanted them. All of this was powered by twin batteries and twin high-output Leece-Neville alternators. In 1973 the car ended up in Clovis, NM at Gold Star Ambulance shy two of the Qs. I got to go on a run or two in that wagon and it was nice. G.C. went bankrupt not long after the last time I was there and I was never able to find out where that car, a '69 Consort and a '69 low top Suburban went.

Skip Goulet
02-19-2014, 05:09 PM
Yes, I do. Did you happen to read the description in the original post?

Yes...I saw that. Just missed it the first time around for some reason. Thanks.

Skip Goulet
02-19-2014, 05:20 PM
The factory alternator's 145-amp rating was achieved at sea level and at 70 degrees. At normal engine operating temperature on a warm day, it would be putting out less than 110 amps at highway speed.

Your current warning light load alone is around 114 amps. Turn on the A/C and use the siren, and you can expect problems - especially at idle or parade speed.

That reasonably explains what happened to the nice '65 Consort ambulance I bought from AID Ambulance in Lubbock in '76. AID had run it as a 3rd out ambulance and first call car and only ran a VisiBar with a CP25 speaker and a Director.

When I got the car I mounted twin 175s on the front corners with a Dietz 211-WW behind the center-mounted Q, and I had twin DoRay lollipops between the Q and front beacons. It also had an Interceptor with an MM24 speaker mounted underhood.

The Sunday afternoon on which the Consort made its "maiden voyage" we had back to back runs from a motorcycle race just south of Idalou, TX, which put both runs to Lubbock's then-Methodist Hospital at 25 miles one-way. On both runs the Q quit completely within a mile from the hospital. Methodist had a new glassed-in ER, and on the second run I could see in the glass that the beacons were on but barely turning. The car went to a friend's starter/alternator shop the next day. He discovered that someone had put a stock 35-amp alternator on the car at some point, so he went back with a 65-amp alternator, and we never had problems thereafter. While I'm sure they were available at the time, I had never seen the big high-output alternators back then: not until we bought a '72 high top Superior Caddie ambulance in 1980 that came with twin batteries and a 150-amp alternator. That certainly made me feel like one of those "now you tell me" days!

Skip Goulet
02-19-2014, 05:28 PM
You've all seen my little Stude Ambulet, with two small flashers and a WL siren-light on it. That's how it came from the Studebaker dealer (I think the dealer added the flashers, they don't seem to be factory). It also had factory fog lights.

But the owner of Nashwauk Ambulance, Frank "Bingo" Blair, liked flashy things. He added a few things to the car as he "didn't feel like it attracted enough attention". (Note to Bingo: you had the only ambulance in town, it attracted plenty of attention just by being there.) Anyway, he replaced the flashers with Trippe rotating beacons - the ball-shaped gizmos over the windsheild. And he added a Q2B siren to the right fender. And a small bar with a single red, sealed beam flasher on the front bumper. And a spotlight. The WL siren-light remained on the roof. And never upgraded the alternator on the little station wagon. Overloaded? You betcha! All this on a 6v system, too!

The guys who drove it said they could definately note the electrical draw (and continuing problems) from all this, so they seldom used the Q siren.

(He also added lots of chrome trim, rear-view mirrors, and much bigger tires.)

Yes, that's Bingo in the picture. You didn't argue with him. He was the town cop, too.

That reminds me of the '55 Ford Sedan-delivery ambulance operated by Chapel of the Roses Funeral Home in Odessa for many years. The Ford came stock with a 6-volt battery, but someone replaced it at some point with an 8-volt Jeep battery. On top was a 12-volt Q with a mechanical brake (only one I've ever seen) and a pair of Federal FS3 single-faced red lights. And there was a red 6-volt PropelloRay mounted on the front center of the hood. The warning lights were readily visibile, but with that 12-volt Q only getting 8-volts, it would get to about 3/4 speed and taper off. It was easy enough to roll it over just to get through an intersection, but they couldn't stand down on it to seriously move traffic. When I worked for Rix F.H. from '63 to '66 I used to tease some of Chapel's guys that I knew that sooner or later they would get hit. And sure enough they did on a Wednesday afternoon in November of '63 about two weeks before JFK's assassination. At Rix we were on city rotation and got the call for an MVA. About a block from the scene we could see the old Ford sitting in the intersection, and Paul Rix looked at me and said, "Well hell, looks like they beat us." Then he saw the dented fender. Neither of Chapel's guys were hurt, so we transported their patient the remaining six blocks to Medical Center.

Dan Brintlinger
06-08-2014, 10:03 PM
On vacation in the '50s, going to Florida, we drove past the Smith Funeral Home in Jackson, TN. They had a '55 Superior parked there, with more lights than I can remember! At least 2 beacons, a roto=ray, front bumper flashers, fender flashers/moving lights, tunnel lights, a Federal Q, side flashers, and rear flashers. It also had those fire extinguishers that slid down into the rear fenders on each side.

But photos? No, we forgot to take photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Skip Goulet
06-09-2014, 06:14 PM
On vacation in the '50s, going to Florida, we drove past the Smith Funeral Home in Jackson, TN. They had a '55 Superior parked there, with more lights than I can remember! At least 2 beacons, a roto=ray, front bumper flashers, fender flashers/moving lights, tunnel lights, a Federal Q, side flashers, and rear flashers. It also had those fire extinguishers that slid down into the rear fenders on each side.

But photos? No, we forgot to take photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With all that "electric" they needed those extinguishers. That reminds me of the'57 Plymouth wagon that Thomas Funeral Home here in Midland ran. It had a roof-mounted Q that had an old red truck stop light mounted in the center of the grille where the Federal "F" should've been. Next to the Q were four red 6" Unity lights and red 17 beacon behind the Q. And to top it off, there was a red Mars FL light on the right fender. For quite some time that was the most spectacularly lit ambulance in West Texas. But the downside was that the car only had a standard electrical system: a 12-volt battery and standard generator. After every run they made, they had to put it on the battery charger.

One Sunday afternoon in 1959 Midland's big Airshow was underway at Midland International. Thomas had their new 1960 Ford sedan-delivery ambulance: first ambulance with twin red beacons, Q and cowl lights, on standby, while Ellis Funeral Home had their '58 Chrysler wagon sitting next to Thomas. Both ambulances were suddenly pulled away to a head-on collision at the airport entrance on what was then US Hwy 80. Thomas rolled their Plymouth from town, while Ellis ran their '59 Ford wagon and their '57 Caddy combo. About 3/4 of a mile from the airport at that time was a slightly steep hill that had to be negotiated (that stretch of highway was rebuilt and leveled many years ago), and when the Thomas Plymouth started up the hill totally lit, it overtaxed the electrical system, setting fire under the dash. And Thomas didn't have a fire extinguisher onboard! Ellis' combo didn't transport from the MVA, and they had an extinguisher, which they used to extinguish the fire. From that point on until Thomas shut down for a short time, the Plymouth ran with only half of its light setup.