As the 911 service I was working for at this time started to purchase new ambulances, I spent some time reflecting on the vehicles from the private services that I worked for before I went to 911. I specifically remembered those times when the chatter would rip through the private service about getting a new ambulance.
“Did you hear we’re getting a new ambulance?” “Really? It’s about time we got some new ambulances!”
And what would show up? An ambulance that has 200,000+ miles on it, that you were pretty sure was a Penske moving truck just 72 hours ago, with a brand new shiny paint job to match the rest of the fleet of the service.
Newer EMTs beamed with excitement at those shiny new ambulances, while others who had been around for a while faked smiles.
So as I got in the front seat of these brand new ambulances at my 911 service, that still had that new car smell in the cab, and comparing it to sitting in those other “new ambulances” for the first time, I instantly knew that there was a comic to draw about it.
Now, why the “ECTO-1” reference? Well, I tried to think about one of the oldest-looking ambulances (a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance conversion to be exact) that everyone might recognize, and, also, “Ghostbusters” is my wife’s absolute favorite movie of all time.
And the “Lifepak 5” reference? The school where I took my paramedic class had a display case featuring antiquated equipment from EMS. Items in this display case even included an old monitor that didn’t have a screen but, rather, a reel to reel type paper system that would trace an EKG on it like a needle on a polygraph machine.
I would always joke with the private service that I worked for at that time that if one of our monitors ever broke, that I could smash that display case and not just replace but instantly upgrade our equipment.
And while I’m back in private service again, the service that I presently work for actually has power loaders in two of their ambulances!
“For the times they are a-changin’…“