Because of the tight filming schedule, Universal Studios decided to build the vehicle entirely from scratch according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department's specifications at that time. After the filming of Emergency!, Universal Studios donated Squad 51, and it was used as a reserve paramedic vehicle by the LACOFD. In 1999 the title was transferred, and Squad 51 was then donated to the Los Angeles County Fire Museum in Bellflower, California. In the same year it was thoroughly and completely restored by the museum, at a cost of approximately $10,000. Squad 51 is now residing with its co-star in Emergency!, Engine 51, which completed restoration in 2012.
Plans call for the museum to completely restore all of the period equipment used during the filming of Emergency!
In 1999, Project 51 took off along with Squad 51 and many of the cast members from Emergency!, and made appearances in Southern California, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Chicago, Long Island, Baltimore, Hyattsville and Washington DC.
The museum will eventually build a new facility to house the squad and engines in a rebuilt facade of Station 127 in Carson, California, where the show was filmed.
On July 9, 2011, on the apron in front of Station 127 (which doubled as "Station 51" during the series), the newly restored 1973 Ward LaFrance Engine 51 was unveiled next to its old running mate, Squad 51. Thousands of people from around the world were in attendance.
- The Squad 51 in the LACO Fire Museum is the only vehicle of that model used during the filming of Emergency!. *In the Mascot episode (episode 7?) approximately half way through the program the squad truck shown driving down the street in response to a possible heart attack victim, the truck appears to be a Ford model. Definitely not the normal Dodge truck.*
- The original gasoline powered 440 ci motor is still in the vehicle. Squad 51 has not been repowered.
- The restoration cost was about $30,000 due to the restoration being a complete frame off restoration.
- In the TV movie Survival on Charter 220 where Squad 51 was crushed, a dummy squad was used to take its place.
- Squad 51 was not originally equipped with a siren. Instead, various siren sounds were dubbed in during its response scenes.
- Squad 51 contained actual medical equipment including a Biophone.