Party ambulance draws criticism even before it hits the road

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by MARCUS MOORE

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WFAA

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 10:39 PM

FORT WORTH - It has a boxy silhouette, ambulance decal up front, and red and blue lights.

But take a closer look at an old ambulance parked in a Fort Worth Parking lot, and you find that the DFW Cougar and Kitten Rescue "Slambulance" is complete with bar seating, and what appears to be a stripper pole in back.

"When I saw it, I was disgusted," said Matt Zavadsky with MedStar.

The ambulance service employs about 1,800 first responders throughout the area.

Zavadsky said the retired 1997 Ford ambulance could confuse people.

"One of the greatest concerns is if this vehicle is driving around the community, and someone is sick or injured, or they come up on a vehicle accident, people are going to run to the vehicle or flag it down," he said.

According to online records from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the registered owner is a chiropractor. An attorney representing him said the chiropractor doesn't actually own the ambulance, that another client of his does, and that it has not been used commercially, but will be.

"I've been in emergency medical services for 32 years, I've never heard of anything like this," Zavadsky said. "It's completely outrageous."

While it may be a first for North Texas, it is not nationally.

A limo service in Wasilla, Alaska, bought an ambulance last year, and have turned it into the “Funbulance." The owner said it has caused little controversy.

But here, the "Slambulance" is meeting some resistance, before it even hits the road.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com

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