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Gold Cross Ambulances Add McGruff

SALT LAKE CITY -- Gold Cross Ambulance has rebranded its ride. The Utah company's ambulances now will be known as "McGruff trucks," too, thanks to a national partnership with the McGruff crime-prevention program.

McGruff, the animated trench-coat-clad crime-fighting dog, has urged communities for years to "take a bite out of crime" by improving neighborhood safety and teaching youngsters how to avoid dangerous situations.

The McGruff truck initiative - introduced to the Beehive State in 1986 and carried on today by Questar Gas and Comcast - is an extension of that program. Here's how it works: Gold Cross will stick a McGruff decal on the front and back of its ambulances. If children are in trouble, they are taught to wave both arms overhead when they spot the image.

Ambulance crews - unless they are en route to an emergency call (in that case they'll call dispatch) - will stop and attend to the child until authorities arrive. Gold Cross operates a 68-ambulance fleet, staffed by about 320 employees.

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