I had the pleasure of doing a cartoon drawing of a Cadillac Ambulance recently.
Some years ago I did some vw art for this guy named Mike.
Turns out Mike is a volunteer assistant Chief with the Commack Volunteer Ambulance crew! He contacted me and hired me to do a drawing of the Caddy Ambulance they have restored.
Here’s a few steps in the drawing process.
and here’s a youtube video of the process:
Pretty fun gig overall. I have much respect for those that volunteer their lives in the service of others. Job felt great. I asked Mike to give me a write up with some back story so I could share what these guys do. here is what he sent me:
Following the death of a child, a few community members joined together to fundraise for a community ambulance. The Commack Volunteer Ambulance was established, if only in title, in 1965. The Corps was run on the principles of Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and with only a handful of members answered alarms from the community to aid the sick and j injured. Now, in it’s 51st year the Corps operates 5 Advanced Life Support ambulances, 6 Responser Vehicles and boats 211 members answering over 3800 calls a year.
In its infancy. The Corps was able to purchase a used Cadillac ambulance at auction which was housed in a nearby garage behind a Christ the King Church. By 1967 fundraising efforts had allowed the Corps to purchase a second ambulance – a 1967 Cadillac which was modified by prestigious coach builders “Sayers and Scovill” of Lima OH to feature their Mark 1 high top Ambulance body. This car would be sold to Martin Luther King Memorial Ambulance in the late 1970’s, where it was wrecked and destroyed. Near the same time that Commack ordered their mark 1, neighboring department Greenlawn Fire Department purchased a similarly equipped “Professional High Roof” model. This model featured a roof mounted forward storage compartment and added an “Astra” light along its leading edge. This particular ambulance served as 2-7-5 before being transferred to Commack as a back up and later parade vehicle. After being retired from service, 2-16-16 would fall to neglect, and was stored away for several years. Once liberated, she was used as a display artifact for two years at the New York EMS exhibit in Albany.
Upon her return to Commack, some enthusiastic members, led by now Assistant Chief Mike Hoddinott decided to save the ambulance that saved so many. After being painted by a local trade school, the car was a centerpiece for the Corps 50th anniversary celebration. It led new ambulance 2-16-15 through a customary “Wet Down” to officially mark the new vehicles in-service. With pieces being slowly replaced as they are found over the internet and from professional car restoration groups. A new interior is being fit and the car will return to the streets of Commack in late spring of 2018.
Highlighting the cars return, Commack Ambulance partnered with renowned Automotive Artist Lemorris Harris to help kick off the debut with his CarToon. The piece so accurately captures the enthusiasm of volunteers ready to render aid at a moments notice. If cars have a spirit, we believe the piece by Lemorris embodies the soul of a car who’s task it was to serve. The car is often used by the membership to promote the mission of the Corps, allowing children and adults alike a first hand opportunity to sit inside and experience this classic coach.
Huge thank you to Mike for the shot. Check out Commack Ambulance.