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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An ambulance is a fairly distinct-looking vehicle.
The boxy shape, the double back doors, that strip of lights over the top make it easy to distinguish.
That is, unless an old ambulance finds itself a new life.
Anyone can buy one online.
Several businesses in the Metroplex have, using them for marketing, transportation, even parties.
“It gives the industry a black eye,” said Joe Huffman with the Texas Ambulance Association.
There’s an ambulance used for tailgating. Another labelled “DFW Cougar & Kitten Rescue” with a bar and a pole inside.
A business specializing in hospital flooring labels its ambulance “911 Flooring Response Team.”
Huffman says it can be deceiving to the public.
“If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, people expect a duck,” said Huffman. “All of a sudden a shooting goes down, they run over to the ambulance expecting help and it’s not available.”
The association has lobbied for more regulation, arguing during an emergency, there shouldn’t be any confusion.
Under the law, though, the only thing decommissioned trucks can’t do is run lights and siren.
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