Crown Firecoach Enthusiasts Club - Southern California Chapter of SPAAMFAA

A Non-profit organization for owners and fans of the fire engines & trucks made by Crown, dedicated to preserving and appreciating the history of the Crown Firecoach

Historial Archives of the Firecoach Division of the Crown Coach Corporation of Los Angeles 

Next CFE Meeting
April 15, 2018, 9:30 am
San Diego Firehouse Museum
1572 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101.
The museum is located in the Little Italy area of San Diego. All members and guests are welcome. After the board meeting there will be a tour of the museum.




Crown Firecoach Apparatus of the 1990s TV series

"Rescue 9-1-1-"




By Mike Britt, CFE President, Historian and Curator of the Crown Firecoach Archives

(This feature article originally appeared on this website in June, 2012)

Rescue 911 was an informational reality-based TV series that aired from April, 1989 to August, 1996. The series was hosted by actor William Shatner and featured reenactments (and occasionally real footage) of emergency situations that involved phone calls to 9-1-1.

The location for the filming of most of Shatner's introductions to each episode segment was the Central Net Training Center and adjacent Huntington Beach (CA) Fire Department Gothard Station. At the time of the series, this was also the location of the Central Net (originally known as Net 6) Dispatch Center, and about half of Shatner's introductory scenes were filmed inside the main dispatch room. Other segments were filmed inside or outside the rear of the fire station or FD maintenance shop, around the drill tower, and in the adjacent Huntington Beach P.D. air operations division, where a PD helicopter was rolled out on a dolly for the filming.

For the main backdrops, the producers staged reserve Crown pumpers, reserve medic vans, reserve BC Suburbans, police cars and even ambulances from the former Med Trans Ambulance Company. To minimize interference with the center's daily operations, the Shatner segments were filmed in the evening, at dusk or after dark. Sometimes the firefighters would wash down the "set" so the wet pavement would produce deep reflections of the units with their code 3 lights on. During one season late in the series, the rear of Glendale (CA) FDs Headquarters station was used to film some of Shatner Introductions. These shots also featured a Crown, Glendale's 1979, 50-ft Telesqurt, serial number F1803.

The two Crowns used in the introduction segments filmed in Huntington Beach were sister 1967 Firecoach pumpers, F1496 and F1497, which at that time were reserve rigs for the department. Most often seen was F1497, which early in the series ran as "HE 58" which stood for "Huntington Engine 58," the designator for Central Net's old Computer-Aided-Dispatch software. This engine became "HTB E245" when the department adopted "HTB," its official ICS (Incident Command System) designator developed by California FIRESCOPE for the statewide fire and rescue mutual aid system.

One interesting thing to observe in the segments where the Crowns and other apparatus appear in the background is the various efforts used to cover up the names of the cities and FD emblems on the doors of the rigs, especially in close up shots. Large prop magnetic sheets were used to cover the HB logo on the doors. These read "Emergency 9-1-1 Fire Rescue Police." They were patterned after the actual 9-1-1- placards used on emergency vehicles at the time, but custom made in large oval shapes for the show for the purpose of covering apparatus doors. However, these could not cover the name "Huntington Beach" so various methods of applying black tape to cover the gold lettering were used, sometimes covering the entire top of the top, sometimes just in strips, and sometimes just covering selected letters of the FD name.




2017 Brian Dierkens Memorial Award

The 2017 Brian Dierkens Memorial Award was presented at this year’s Crusin’ For a Cure Event, September 23, 2017, at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, CA. Congratulations to 2017 winner, Moses Vaca of the Costa Mesa Fire Department Fire Explorers (pictured center, below, with CFE Board Member and Brian Dierkens Award Commitee Chairperson, Mike McDonald (left) and CFE President Michael Britt (right).

In Memorium

We recently learned of the passing of two long time CFE members:

RoHarold Robert "Bob" Guildig passed away in Phoenix, AZ on August 8, 2017. Bob previously was a resident of Washington State and was the former owner of a 1960 Crown pumper, F-1173 which served the Cowiche FD in Yakima County, WA. Bob was 75 and had been in poor health for a couple of years. His Grandson is in search of the Crown which was sold in 2012, and would like to reacquire it.

Norm Stahlberg of Corona, CA, passed away earlier this year. He was 77. Norm was a retired technical writer and talented graphic artist in industrial design and had an great interest in antique trucks.

Both Bob and Norm will be missed. May they rest in peace.

Click here to see a Calendar of Events for 2018
© 2016-2018, Crown Firecoach Enthusiasts, Inc., the Southern California Chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus in America.