The Redscue Unit Squad is a group of Arizona Cardinals tailgaters that have been regularly attending games since 1988, with fulltime season tickets first being purchased in 1991 by two cousins and a friend. As the years have progressed and the tailgate group has grown, the need arose to either bring more vehicles to each game, or purchase a larger vehicle that can accommodate not only people, but also all the tailgating gear involved (tables, ice chests, chairs, canopies, tv, grill etc.).
The group of three has now grown to include some of our kids that attend games with us. But one thing has been a constant from the very beginning and the very reason this tailgate vehicle was born: THIS GROUP OF TAILGATERS WOULD NEVER BE DRIVEN HOME BY AN INTOXICATED DRIVER!!
Original tailgate vehicles included regular passenger vehicles, than progressed to our current Chevy Tahoe’s, Ford F-350’s and other select trucks/SUV’s. But with additional members, as well as more equipment, we needed to convert to the next step…..
This is where the Redscue Unit was born…….We realize we’re just reinventing the "ambulance tailgate vehicle" wheel that has been done throughout the United States for quite some time. But this is a wheel we really wanted to reinvent.
After a nationwide search of possible ambulance vehicles, one fell directly into our lap right here in Tempe, Arizona. The Founders took immediate delivery and began the brainstorming. Some items came immediately to the forefront, while others took some back and forth bantering if we should include it or not.
The vehicle was wrapped with a design that includes the following features:
- REDSCUE UNIT name. This was a play on words of fire terminology (rescue) and the addition of one of the prime colors (red) of the Arizona Cardinals.
- Fire type logo on door. TIME TO SEE RED was a slogan that was used many years ago by the Arizona Cardinals.
- EST 1920. The year the Football Club was established into what is now the National Football League (NFL).
- R88. Another play on words. As all fire stations are numbered, our “station” is “R” (for REDSCUE) and the “88” is for the year the Arizona Cardinals came to Arizona.
- The large Cardinal bird head on the rear top. The image that this entire truck revolves around.
- Ghost image of the State of Arizona flag on both sides. Must be seen (purposely) at the right angle or in good sunlight.
- Large Cardinal bird eyes staring towards the front.
- NEVER FORGET 40. A respectful tribute to Pat Tillman, longtime Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State player/student that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
- SPECIAL THANKS TO THE WIVES quote. Giving thanks to all their support.
- Full size ghost image large Cardinal bird head on the back.
- Ghost image field hash marks and field numbers on bottom of both sides.
- Rockford Fosgate sponsored state of the art sound system. This includes (4) 12” subwoofers with boxes, (4) interior marine speakers, (2) exterior marine speakers, and (3) premier amplifiers.
- Big screen TV with DirecTV and hook ups. Includes NFL Sunday Ticket.
- "Gurney Grill". A large 8 burner bbq grill.
- Customized interior upholstery in red/black color combination. Seats include custom “Cardinal” bird logo.
- Herculiner floor.
- Customized kegerator with taps inside and outside for both beer and soda.
- Custom bar area inside.
When did you get the rig?
Four of us - three brothers (Manny, Jaime, Sergio Figueroa) and a friend (Victor Romo) purchased this 1989 Ford Ambulance at the end of the 2011 Cardinals season. After months of searching for the perfect tailgate vehicle in several states, we stumbled upon this one on Craigslist, just down the street, in the City of Tempe, AZ.
What was it used for before you got it?
This vehicle was a former volunteer ambulance for a small town in Colorado. The previous owner (Tempe) bought it in Colorado and was going to use it for a business venture in Arizona, but decided to sell it.
How long did the restoration take?
The REDSCUE UNIT process was started immediately after purchasing the vehicle. It only took approx 9 months to complete the vehicle to its current phase (the upholstery was installed the Sat night just before the 2012 Season Opener!). There are still things that are being tweaked and added as time and money permits.
How many people tailgate with you?
The REDSCUE UNIT Squad consists of approx 15-20 regulars that tailgate every single game and assist with all game day tailgate purchases. In addition to these regulars, we also have a host of different folks that may tailgate select games throughout the season. We have had tailgate groups as large as 40-70. Our main sponsors (George Cairo Engineering, Demers Glass, Rockford Fosgate) also tailgate with us as our Special Guests - some come every game, some periodically.
What are your favorite features?
Pulling into the stadium, the entire parking lot knows when we arrive, as the stereo system, including speakers installed on the outside, is booming throughout. We also like to use the vehicle wrap canvas as a conversation piece to showcase what every little detail stands for. And of course, nothing beats having a brand new 8 burner grill we lovingly call the “Gurney Grill” (sold the old grill – too small for the amount of food we need to cook). Other cool features, away from the ambo, is we have our very own personalized logo t-shirts, hoodies and hats, as well as our very own facebook page (REDSCUE UNIT). Last, but not least, is tailgating with family and friends and knowing that this vehicle is ALWAYS driven by a designated driver.
What kind of plans do you have for the future?
First and foremost, we’re trying to secure more sponsors that may be able to assist us financially to complete the vehicle and help with expensive maintenance needs. A complete Air Conditioning overhaul is first in the works this off-season. We are currently working to add a bar/grill sponsorship that could be used as our tailgate headquarters during away games and the off-season. Also, a re-wrap may take place that will more boldly showcase the current details and brighten & enhance the red color palette to give it more “pop”. The rewrap will also include enlarging our sponsor logos. We also plan on upgrading to a much larger television and also modifying our battery power sources for our stereo system. Lastly, we would like to add a new siren and new emergency light bar.
How long have you been tailgating?
Generally between 17-22 years. Some are more recent additions, but most of us have been tenured for approx two decades. LASTLY, we want to give a BIG THANKS to ALL those involved in our build process including Dominic Dominguez (upholstery), Ricky Figueroa (stereo installation), Phil Moreno (truck caricature logo design), Ralph Vasquez (financial support). And especially a VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our MAIN SPONSORS (George Cairo Engineering, Demers Glass, Rockford Fosgate) that have supported us on our build from the very very beginning!