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Emergency vehicle show captures nostalgia
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Sacramento Kaiser RN Wendi Fischer, shown, and husband James collect and restore old vehicles including two red and white Cadillac ambulances. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

The classic emergency vehicle show Saturday at the Ripon Community Center had 134 entries from throughout Northern and Central California.

The Ripon/Menlo Park Emergency Vehicle Car actually kicked off Friday evening for the early arrivals pulling into the community center parking lot.  They assembled into a red light caravan for dinner at the Sonic Drive-In Restaurant on Colony Road near Jack Tone Road.

A San Francisco Police Department’s classic open touring car was contrasted against a 1972 red and white Cadillac ambulance identical to one used by the Manteca Volunteer District Ambulance Service more than 40 years ago.

Sacramento Kaiser RN Wendi Fischer remembers when a young  EMT picked her up from a car crash in 1972 in a similar Cadillac ambulance that resembles one used in that era by the Manteca District Ambulance Service.  She and James dated, later married and are now collecting and restoring old vehicles including two red and white Cadillac ambulances. One took a first place in Ripon’s event last year.  He no longer works as an EMT but is now a chef in a Sacramento hotel.

Proceeds from the event went to underwrite projects underway by the cadet Explorer Post and Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS).  Each vehicle parked on the community center grass was charged an entrance fee.

The VIPS barbecued hotdogs providing a lunch by the nearly 200 participants.

Most of the emergency vehicles paraded through the community mid-day from residential areas to the downtown with red lights flashing and sirens blaring, drawing onlookers out of their homes and businesses.

Various departments had recruiting officers on hand to explain their needs for both rookie and transferring officers in their departments.  Applications were available for those looking for police work.

The REACH emergency ambulance helicopter was a popular attraction as it land on a grassy athletic field adjacent to the center’s baseball fields.