SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — An attention-getting depiction of a cartoon character now appears on South Haven Area Emergency Services’ new heavy duty rescue truck.
Yosemite Sam from the 1940s Looney Tunes cartoons can be seen on the truck, continuing a tradition that started with the founding of the department a quarter of a century ago, according to a news release Monday.
The tradition began when the SHAES Authority was created from what had been the South Haven and Casco fire departments.
Randy Van Wynen, the SHAES chief at the time, and his colleagues Keith Bierhalter and Tony Marsala chose Yosemite Sam and secured permission from Warner Brothers to display him for non-commercial purposes.
“It’s a great tradition that brings smiles to not only the public, but our responders as they go about the serious business of protecting the community,” SHAES Chief Brandon Hinz said.
Working with Bierhalter and firefighter Brian Montgomery, Paul Russell from Spencer Manufacturing of South Haven created the characterture on the new Rescue One.
Each Yosemite Sam depicts the purpose of the truck.
Tanker trucks show him carrying buckets of water. On the engines he is wielding a hose and axe. Shovel and axe are in his hands on grass rigs. The new Rescue shows Sam holding the Jaws-of-Life extrication tool and a haligan tool.