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Home > Topics > Ambulances / Emergency Vehicles

Paramedics disapprove of converted Texas 'slambulance'

Sign on door actually says 'Slambulance'; on back, it says 'DFW Cougar and Kitten Rescue'

By Scott Gordon

FORT WORTH, Texas — Paramedics at Fort Worth's ambulance service Medstar are raising questions about a boxy vehicle driving on city streets with the word "ambulance" on the front and red and blue lights on top — but isn't a real ambulance.

"Just like anybody when they see it for the first time, it looks like a legitimate ambulance," said Medstar spokesman Matt Zavadsky.

People involved in an accident or in a medical emergency might wonder why the truck doesn't stop to help, he said. A closer look reveals the sign on the door actually says "Slambulance" — not ambulance. On the back, it says "DFW Cougar and Kitten Rescue." Inside, through dark windows, you can see leather furniture and a metal pole — not like you'd find in any real ambulance.

Full story: Paramedics Disapprove of Converted Ambulance

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Tw Houlton Tw Houlton Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:25:55 PM That's borders misrepresintation --- maybe the law should take a second look at the truck and the company!
Dave Trevett Dave Trevett Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:10:03 PM See. Its not just messed up in Jersey too...
Chuck Mann Chuck Mann Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:29:55 PM Needs a repaint.
Patrick S Kelley Jr. Patrick S Kelley Jr. Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:34:32 PM Star of life should be only for ambulances, paramedics, emts, first respoder, or fire vehicals. should be state law.
Peter Wine Peter Wine Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:36:03 PM Aren't there legalities for using a Star of Life? That's a registered Trademark. Not to mention, the Red lights on the vehicle should be illegal according to DMV laws.
Danielle Doherty Danielle Doherty Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:41:05 PM That is just so weird .. So so weird!
Patrick S Kelley Jr. Patrick S Kelley Jr. Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:42:26 PM On another note any one find it sicking that it looks better then most private ambulances?
Mark N Amanda Fornof Mark N Amanda Fornof Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:44:31 PM Medstar get over it! It has Couger and Kitten on the side! No where do I see "Paramedic or EMT" on it...If there is a law suit over it then they "NOT MEDSTAR" will have to answer it!
Cybil Maddux Cybil Maddux Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:45:30 PM Makes me sick to my stomach. They should've saved the money and made a shag wagon out of a VW bus. Disgracing an ambulance like that.
Chris Pittenger Chris Pittenger Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:51:04 PM The trade mark on the Star of Life expired in 1997. So it is no longer controlled by the NHTSA.
John Kimbrough John Kimbrough Tuesday, May 15, 2012 5:58:26 PM slamberlamps. awesome.
Bibz Santos Bibz Santos Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:01:17 PM the authorities should make necessary steps for this.
Peter Wine Peter Wine Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:02:43 PM I remember the expiration in 97'. I thought it was picked up by another organization. Granted, I don't have the time to look it up at the moment, but I want to say NREMT, maybe?
Kurt Nelson Kurt Nelson Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:03:10 PM The vehicle does have a star of life symbol and a maltese cross looking symbol, so idk I would say its prly not a good idea
Peter Wine Peter Wine Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:09:30 PM Someone sent me the Texas MV-Laws regarding emergency lighting.
Rodger Jones Rodger Jones Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:15:51 PM i believe if remember right from ameritac You can have ambulance police prisoner transport on anything but you must seek approval from the state first (which if you remember lot of us had texas ID's) in this case i would bet they are in violation
Brian Carney Brian Carney Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:15:58 PM I think the deciding factor is if the red lights actually work. The other day I saw an ambulance being used to advertise medical insurance. It was sporting red lenses. I think the lenses should be clear or yellow.
Lory Wood Lory Wood Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:26:49 PM It sounds like a rolling stripper club. Definitely shouldn't have red lights and the Star of Life on it. Our State requires permits for red lights on the vehicles. Sounds like they could be busted for running a mobile "cathouse".
Dakota Cortez Dakota Cortez Tuesday, May 15, 2012 7:20:08 PM It won't be showing up on 911 calls, it doesn't claim to be ALS, Paramedic or say to call 911, so it's not an issue in my mind so long as lights and sirens are never used on main roads. If not anything else it's a good idea for a money maker, I wouldn't be surprised to see actual medics doing this one the side for as low pay as we get.
Richard Berger Richard Berger Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:36:15 PM Someone stated that it borders on misrepresentation. That is not bordering, it surpasses misrepresentation! I see an ambulance coming down the road, I don't call 9-1-1 for the incident in front of me, becaused there is an ambulance right there...or is it? This vehicle, the NY Jets "Fan-Bulance", and other former ambulances now in private hands cannot have markings and wordings indicating them still being Emergency Vehicles, when they are not being used as Emergency Vehicles any more. It is not misrepresentation, no! It is Criminal Impersonation of an Emergency Vehicle! If the Law Enforcement Officers can arrest someone trying to use a uniform for whatever purpose, then they should arrest anyone driving an ambulance impersonation!
Kerry Beecher Kerry Beecher Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:47:08 PM Anyone want to guess what the leather chair and the stripper pole are for? Sounds like a party van or limousine to me. Or is cougar and kittens have different meanings other than referring to the felines?
Rob Goodheart Rob Goodheart Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:53:48 PM While I agree the look should be changed. The idea on the inside ain't bad... Mabe put taps where the O2 connections go?
Renee Lopez Renee Lopez Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:42:45 PM That's absolutely ridiculous! This guys trying so hard to look cool and probably still wont get laid. A limo... Right. F$%#@ moron.
Tisha Chance Tisha Chance Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:55:47 PM You should always call 911, even if there's an accident right in front of an ambulance. Why? Because they might already dispatched, have a patient on board or are out of service for a supply/ mechanical reason. If an accident happens within sight of an available unit, THEY will ask their dispatch for authorization to stop.
Richard Berger Richard Berger Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:05:56 PM Call it "Elevator Button Syndrome." Everyone waiting for the elevator thinks someone else has pushed the button. Because there appears to be an ambulance on the scene, some folks believe the call to 9-1-1 has already been made, and they feel they'd be tying up the line calling again. Just people being human. As a mention, I was taught years back, if you happen to find, and be first in on a street scene, in your private vehicle while driving somewhere, call it in before you get out to render aid, for the same reason.
Travis Hunter Travis Hunter Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:08:37 PM As far as I know the Star of Life got a trademark ban from the copyright office due to multiple agency request for use of the logo. If NREMT did have the trademark then everyone who uses the Star of Life would have to pay them for the license to use such item.
Tonia Eberhardt Tonia Eberhardt Wednesday, May 16, 2012 9:10:39 AM Does anyone have a problem with the comment that they are" going to use it to take frends and family out" in it? Would you take your kids out in something that says "corgars and kittens "on the vehicle and has a stripper pole in it?
Stephan Saint Stephan Saint Friday, May 18, 2012 7:09:34 PM ... NHSTA's trademark on the Star of Life expired 15 years ago. Why hasn't it become a legally protected symbol?
Stephan Saint Stephan Saint Friday, May 18, 2012 7:14:56 PM It may not say "EMS" or anything like that. BUT it does display the recognized symbol for EMS. Think about it: you've just been involved in an MVC. You're injured. You're hurting. You see what looks to be an ambulance. It displays a Star of Life. You try and flag it down. Are you going to pay close enough attention to see that it says "Slambulance"?
Jason Clatt Jason Clatt Friday, May 18, 2012 7:31:32 PM pathetic, disrespectfull, seriously WTF.
Richard Berger Richard Berger Sunday, May 20, 2012 8:39:44 PM All the ambulances owned by the Fire Department of New York City have the Star of Life emblem on them, but do NOT say either EMS, EMT, or Paramedic on them, except for the specialty "Haztec" Paramedic units.
Barry S Krembs Barry S Krembs Thursday, May 24, 2012 11:25:49 AM It clearly defines itself as an "Ambulance" on the front, regardless of the signage on the side door. Multi colored lights and the star of life are internationally recognized as emergency medical vehicle identifiers. This clearly impersonates an ambulance regardless of local laws.

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