By: Dave Ostertag - Jacksonville, FL
One of the most exciting releases this year for our EMS collectors is this new model from Code 3. It represents an offshoot of a new relationship between Code 3 and American LaFrance. EMS collectors have been asking for a new ambulance mold, and what better way to start it off than with THE most popular Medium Duty ambulance, the Freightliner/American LaFrance MedicMaster.
First, a few words about Jacksonville and its fire department. Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States, covering about 840 square miles. The Jacksonville Fire-Rescue Department is responsible for fire and Emergency Medical Service response for the entire area, with exception of Jacksonville Beach, where JFRD is responsible for EMS response only. JFRD currently operates 52 stations. Among them are 52 Engine companies, 29 rescue units, 11 ladders, 11 tankers, 6 brush trucks, 3 marine units, and 10 chief's SUVs. All front-line Rescues are Freightliner FL-60/American LaFrance MedicMasters. JFRD has been running Freightliner Medium Duty Ambulances for 10 years.
Station 32 is located at 8179 Hammond Boulevard, in an area of town known as Marietta. The Rescue covers an extremely large area, covering all territory west of I-295 in the I-10 corridor. In the territory are several residential areas, two industrial parks, two large grocery store distribution complexes, and two very busy interstate highways. They are consistently one of the busiest Rescues in Jacksonville. Station 32 also houses Engine 32, Tanker 32, and Brush 32.
Station 32 - 8179 Hammond Blvd (note Rescue is out on a run).
Rescue 32 is a 2003 Freightliner FL60/American LaFrance MedicMaster Type 1 Medium Duty Ambulance. Like its stablemate Engine 32, it is the first of delivered this year. Jacksonville, Florida's Rescue 32 was released by Code 3 in August of 2003. It measures 5" L x 1 1/2" W x 1 3/4" H. Your first impression when you open the dome is that this is a large ambulance. Since these were designed with patient and paramedic safety and comfort in mind, they are larger than your typical ambulance.
Unlike the Jacksonville Engine released earlier by Code 3, this model is extremely accurate, which is a bonus for being the first model off of an all-new mold. Again, Code 3 has put a lot of work into making this as detailed as it can be. The graphics are detailed and accurate. All compartmentation is correct. Even the interior is highly detailed, right down to the MDT in the cab, and the pass-through between the cab and the box. You can even notice the interior compartmentation as well.
All Emergency lighting on this model is accurate. I was concerned that the lens colours on the front lights would be changed from Amber to White, since most departments use white on the front of their ambulances. However, all light locations and colours are correct. Code 3 has also used plastic lenses on all lights except for one marker light on the rear of the box, which makes this model even more outstanding. All emblems are properly located and detailed, right down to the tiny MedicMaster logo on the hood.
Close up of cab detail
Code 3 has once again outdone themselves as far as detail and quality go. The minor imperfections are greatly outweighed by the crisp graphics, detailed interior, and quality workmanship.
Now I get to nitpick details again. What are the differences? The stretcher is missing. The front tires are set too far inward. The Viewpoint lightbars should have black bases (this is a detail that Code 3 consistently leaves off on all apparatus, not just this one). There should be no wheel wells in the interior area. The "32" on the front hood should be just slightly larger than the "32" on the roof, and should not be outlined in black. Other than that, Code 3 hit the nail on the head with this one.
This item, like all other Code 3 releases, is a limited edition piece. It has an edition size of 3000 pieces. The retail price from Code 3's web site for $34.99, and is still available. It is packaged in a plastic dome for those collectors who want to keep the dust off their models. You may visit Code3.net by clicking the icon below.
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