What if Firefighters and Paramedics "Modernized" their Vehicles the Same Way as the Police?

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What if Firefighters and Paramedics “Modernized” their Vehicles the Same Way as the Police?

What if we applied Police logic to firetrucks and ambulances?


When Toronto Police Services unveiled its new-look police cruisers, Police Chief Mark Saunders appeared proud. “Now THIS is the new @TorontoPolice vehicle!” he exclaimed on Twitter.

He further tweeted that this was part of the Police Force’s modernization efforts.

This seems at odds with the principles of accountability and transparency, areas where the Police have sometimes fallen short. The stealth-grey vehicles drew comparisons to Robocop, and the word “militirization” was thrown around. The change was made without any public or board consultation, and Saunders told Metro Morning that “there was no deep thought in it.”

It’s easy to lose sight of how ridiculous these moves by TPS are until you ask what it would look like if other emergency services acted the same way.

In Photoshopped images that he posted on Facebook, Jairus Khan presents the stealthy “modernized” look for firetrucks and ambulances that TPS thought was so cool for them.

What if paramedics and firefighters used the same approach? How would people react?

Photoshopped image by Jairus Khan.

Photoshopped image by Jairus Khan.

Look at that sleek, black fire truck. Really hides all the smoke and ash—you barely need to hose it! As the trucks rush down the street to a neighbourhood fire, cars will be sure to move aside super quickly to make way for the vehicles. Sure, it may look like the menacing cloud from Lost, and children might be scared to climb it at local events, but it’s cool, right?

Photoshopped image by Jairus Khan.

Photoshopped image by Jairus Khan.

As for the ambulance, nothing says health and wellness like a vehicle that looks like a police surveillance van. It may look like a Decepticon from the outside, but on the inside we swear it’s good. No, it’s not going to harvest your organs, that’s not the deal at all! Why are you walking away, we’re just trying to help, and you’re leaving a trail of blood! Oh God, we should really go back to the colour wheel.

Visibility is a really important principle when it comes to emergency services. It makes things safer for everyone, and builds community trust. Which makes us wonder about the policing culture that makes them proud of a look they implemented without consultation or approval, decreases visibility, and where Toronto citizens prefer the old vehicles by a 2–1 margin. How did we get to a point where this would be plainly ridiculous for anyone else, but it’s considered normal for the Police?

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