A special thanks to Jeff's Collectibles who provided a wealth of information for this review. Jeff has been in the die-cast toy business for 23 years. During that time he has sold and produced collectible cars, trucks, and toys. He carries a wide selection of model emergency vehicles. Jeff knows the industry!
Finally, a large scale release from the Dallas, TX. Fire Department!
In July 2006, First Gear introduced the long awaited 4400 International Rescue (Stock Number 10-3478) from the Dallas Fire Department. Originally only 480 of these 1:34 scale models were released. However, because of the popularity, First Gear has increased the release to 1000+.
First Gear has been in the die cast collectibles business since 1992. The company was founded with the purpose of developing a line of die cast metal replica trucks that were more detailed and more authentic in design than anything available in the marketplace at that time, at a price the average collector could afford. Some of the innovations they developed as standard on all First Gear replicas included packing the product in foam blocks to prevent damage during transportation; making a mailer box part of the standard packaging; packing an extra set of side mirrors and hood ornaments, when applicable, with each truck; making authentically detailed interiors and undercarriages standard on each truck; and tooling multiple body options for each cab style.
THE REAL RESCUE
Dallas currently have three International rigs. These rigs were purchased in 2003, 2004, and 2006. However, none are being used as rescue's now. The last International Rescue was removed from EMS service July 13, 2006. However, one will be refitted and used as a USAR apparatus. The other two will be used to carry bulk medical supplies and equipment as part of the Dallas Medical Strike Team. Theses apparatus were made by Wheeled Coach of Winter Park, FL.
Dallas has 32 front line Rescues, nine peak demand Rescues, and two Paramedic Engines. They are staffed 24 hours per day with two firefighter / paramedics. Currently Dallas utilizes the Ford F350 chassis for the primary Rescue.