Virtual Museum > Ambulances > Ambulance Manufacturing and Design
The "Star" Jeep was an experimental vehicle manufactured by Horton in the mid 80's. Built on a 4 wheel drive Jeep Chassis, it was one of the earliest non military off road ambulance designs. New York City EMS field tested this vehicle for use on the Coney Island, Rockaway and Orchard Beach recreational areas, but did not purchase.
Up to this time, additional summer beach patrol utilized 3 wheel Cushman Scooters with an enclosed rear storage trunk. These vehicle could get a single EMT to drownings and injuries on the beach or large public events, but could not transport. The greatest disadvantage for summer use was the Cushmans was limited to the boardwalk and could not traverse the sand. The EMT had to carry all his equipment onto the beach.
The Jeep proved too small, with limited ability for airway control or CPR, and were not purchased.
In preparation for the expected larger than usual Milleneum New Years Eve gathering in Times Square, and the possibility of citywide Y2K computer and system failures, the city purchased several Gator carts from the John Deere Co under a Federal grant. These 6 wheel diesel powered carts were much more adaptable than the Cushman’s, in that they could transport two crew members, as well patients who are either seated or on backboards, from crowded and confined scenes. The Gators also came equipped with multiple wheel drive capabilities for added traction and maneuverability off road. They had excellent capability on the sand and were even able to be driven these veh up the short staircases from the beach to the boardwalk.
Photo Scott Fried The Gators were deployed for beach patrol at Coney Island and the Rockaways. Patients would be transported from the beach or boardwalk to the closest street access for an ambulance wher they would be transferred. They also saw service at the site of the World Trade Center collapse, transporting both the injured and the deceased off the pile.
Keywords: NYC EMS, FDNY, Cushman, Star, Horton, Gator, Cushman, New York, beach, World Trade Center, WTC, 9/11
External Resource Link: www.coneyislandems.com www.FDNY.org
Last Revision Date: 10/31/10 - 1:30 PM