first response

Ford opens doors for law enforcement

Ford has always been a staple in law enforcement vehicle history – going all the way back to 1919 when departments used Model T police trucks. Then, came the infamous Crown Victoria era in the early 90s and late 2000s. Now, we have the new Explorers and Tauruses we see most departments using on the roads today.

Ford is taking their dedication to law enforcement one step further, and will now be offering doors that protect against armor-piercing bullets. Since 2008, they’ve offered factory-installed ballistic panels on their police car doors, but they only protect against handgun fire and non-armor piercing bullets. Only about 5 to 10 percent of police vehicles sold by Ford have the optional ballistic protection, which costs about $1,500 per door.

Controlling 60 percent of the US police vehicle market in 2015, Ford will be the first in the US to meet the Justice Department’s highest standard for body armor, which is the equivalent of a bulky SWAT team vest.

The ballistic panels, which cover the majority of the door, have two layers. The first layer is made from ballistic-grade ceramic tile, which disperses the energy and starts to break the bullet into pieces on impact. The inner layer is made from aramid fiber, which is the same material used for Kevlar, and catches the shrapnel from the bullet.

Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations said that “any kind of protection that can be added into the vehicles that officers are driving in is a great idea”, since officers are frequently targeted when they are in their patrol cars.

Unavailable to the public, the doors are destroyed when police cars are scrapped so they don’t wind up in the bad guys’ hands.

Engineering the doors proved to be a challenge since the added weight of the ballistic protection had to be supported by the hinges of the door, though they made it happen. Ford will continue to offer both non-armor piercing and armor-piercing protection doors for departments with different needs. Pricing for upgraded protection has not been announced.

Photo Credit: Ford

Tenafly’s Newest Addition…

It’s First Responder Friday and Tenafly’s got a new rig in town! In a small town in Bergen County, New Jersey, the Tenafly Volunteer Ambulance Corps (TVAC) provides emergency medical services to the 14,000 residents who call this town home, and the countless passersby who visit, since 1992.

Previously using two Ford E350 ambulances from the early 2000’s, TVAC needed an upgrade to their decade-plus old fleet- enter the 2014 Horton 623T, codenamed 42. Built on an International Terrastar 108 chassis, the Horton 623T features a MaxxForce 7 turbodiesel V8 engine, designed to meet the needs of medium-duty commercial and emergency vehicles. The MaxxForce 7 features up to 300 horsepower and 660 lb.-ft. of torque, with high-pressure common-rail fuel system, compacted graphite iron block and dual sequential turbochargers to deliver optimal performance.

TVAC Lieutenant of Operations (and Autocracy cofounder!) David Novick says, “the new 42 is modern & up-to-date, uses better technology and has alot of safety upgrades that have been implemented over the years to help keep both the medical personnel and patient safe”.

Vehicle features include a Maxxforce diesel engine, 19.5″ rims & tires, walk through cab access, rear dock bumpers, privacy windows, Roadmaster front & rear stabilizer bar, Vanner 20A 1050-DC charger inverter, HOPS (Horton Occupant Protection) System, Intelliplex Multiplex electrical system and Kussmaul 20A super auto eject shoreline.

Emergency features are plentiful, with a Whelen LINZ6-TAZ86RR custom rear light bar, Whelen “M” series lighting, wig wag headlights, LED docking lights, ICC marker lights, Whelen M9 series scene lights, below body ground lighting, Medium duty chassis air horns, Whelen 295SLSA1 siren and Sho-Me/Able 2 30.222 undercover siren.

Inside the patient compartment, Tenafly’s new ambulance comes complete with (2) 110V interior outlets, (2) IV hangers, (3) 12VDC interior outlets, a CO detector, (2) fire extinguishers, CPR seat, Cool Tech II HVAC system, (3) oxygen outlets, child safety seat, SSCOR aspirator, UV lamp in A/C system duct, report light, sound proofing/acoustic package, Avonite countertops, recessed stair chair pocket and (2) Perko power vents.