Bill Freidrich found this article about the new ambulance in Franklin Park

Hollywood ambulance joins Franklin Park paramedics

March 12, 2011

A piece of Hollywood is coming to the Franklin Park fire department.

The village has purchased an ambulance used on “Trauma,” a former NBC television show.

The Franklin Park Fire Department recently purchased an ambulance used on the TV show “Trauma.” | Suzanne Tennant~Sun-Times Media

The Franklin Park fire department recently purchased an ambulance that was used on the TV show “Trauma.” | Suzanne Tennant~Sun-Times Media

To save money, Fire Chief Steve Iovinelli was looking for an ambulance demonstration model rather than a new vehicle. He contacted Foster Coach, an ambulance seller in Sterling, Ill.

Owner Steve Foster told Iovinelli he knew of a couple vehicles that might fit the village’s needs.

“He said they were sitting on a set in California,” Iovinelli said.

The ambulance was used in “Trauma,” which focused on a group of San Francisco paramedics. The show garnered poor reviews. One USA Today critic said it was full of “loud noises and big explosions” and “whiny EMTs.”

The show lasted 18 episodes and was canceled during its first season, in April 2010. Bad news for NBC, but a good deal for Franklin Park.

“It never had a patient in it,” Iovinelli said. “It’s never been on a call. It still smells new when you get in it.”

In fact, NBC built a set that looked like the inside of the ambulance rather than squeeze actors and camera’s in the back of the actual vehicle.

The village paid $90,177 for the ambulance. A new ambulance would have cost $130,000 to $140,000. The 2008 ambulance has about 10,000 miles on it, about half of that highway miles from California.

Iovinelli is not worried about paramedics being stopped on calls to sign autographs, though he mentioned he’s trying to find a poster from the short-lived TV show to hang up in the station.

Lt. Dan Fidonik, a firefighter/paramedic in Franklin Park, once saw the show.

“It’s a very bad, defunct TV show,” Fidonik said. “I saw part of one episode and turned it off.”

He’s fine with an ambulance via Hollywood.

“If it starts, runs and stops, I’m happy with it,” Fidonik said. “After 23 years of working on ambulances, an ambulance is an ambulance.”