Squad 51 is a 1972 Dodge D-300 truck, one of three identical body-style rescue squad vehicles ("squads" or squad truck) that were used in the filming of the television series Emergency! Later models were retrofitted with 1972 model year grilles, so that the extensive stock footage filmed of the squad on city streets could continue to be used.
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 $30,000. Squad 51 is now residing with its co-star in Emergency!, Engine 51, which completed restoration in 2012.
Squad 51 also made appearances in TV hit show CHiPs at times including season 3 ep.17 E.M.T.
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 Los Angeles County Fire Museum is the only vehicle of that model used during the filming of Emergency!. Early in the series, some stock footage shots showed the squad as a prior generation 1970 Dodge D300 model. As the show progressed, this footage was no longer used.
- The original gasoline powered 440 ci motor is still in the vehicle.
- 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 previous generation 1970 Dodge D300 was used to take its place.
- Squad 51 contained actual medical equipment including a Biophone per the Los Angeles County Fire Department specs of the era.