"The Big Dog" ESU#1

The truck that started it all! While we now franchise our mobile food trailer concept Rescue Dog started life in this 1972 Gerstenslager heavy rescue truck. We still use this icon for promotional events and it remains parked at the Rescue Dog corporate headquarters in Kalispell MT


RESCUE DOG Emergency Support Unit #1, also know as ESU-1, also know as "The BIG DOG!" , began life as a Heavy Rescue unit for the Salem, IL fire department in 1972. It was special ordered with an International body, Caterpillar diesel motor and Gerstenslager TV-21 body. It was not long before it was affectionately referred to as "Gerty" or "Big Gerty". It served the small Illinois community well until the year 2000 when it was retired with just 17,000 miles. Many lives were saved during that time thanks to "Gerty" and the brave firefighters who manned her!

It was put up for sale in the year 2000. Seizing the opportunity, The Milwaukee Bells, a fraternal organization of retired fire fighters, purchased her and converted her into a food and refreshment truck. For almost 20 years "Gerty" enjoyed a second life serving hungry and thirsty fireman on fire locations.

In the year 2021 "Gerty" began her third life doing what she was meant to do: helping save lives, by supporting animal adoption centers and feeding hungry people. Rescue Dog Gourmet Hot Dogs makes the finest 1/3 pound all beef hot dogs in the world. With unique recipes and incredible bursts of flavors you are sure to be hooked! Also don’t forget to try our “Huckleberry Hound” for dessert!