Fact Check: Ambulance That Carried Damar Hamlin From Field Was NOT Marked With Military Stars

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Ambulance That Carried Damar Hamlin From Field Was NOT Marked With Military Stars Power Outlet

Were there two military stars marking the ambulance that carried Buffalo Bills football player Damar Hamlin off the field on January 2, 2023, when he collapsed after a tackle during a televised game against the Cincinnati Bengals? No, that's not true: The two gold marks on the driver's side of the ambulance are not stars, but a covered external outlet, part of the ambulance's electrical system, known technically as a shoreline.

The claim stems from a composite of images posted on Facebook on January 5, 2023. (The account's main page carries a banner with a tank marked with "Q," short for Qanon.) The post was captioned:

The ambulance not only has no markings, no emergency lights, but the back is empty, as well. Even the lady kneeling is sporting the hand symbolism. While it may have brought people together, something much deeper is going on here. Do not be fooled, theyre all part of the club. The truth is hard to swallow, but necessary.


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tuesday, Jan 3 23:16:52 2023 UTC)

One of the photos -- in the lower right corner of the screenshot above and enlarged below -- shows a side view of the ambulance, with a blue circle around two gold spots. The photo is captioned with this text:

THETRUTHSEEKERS88 the circled area above [pointing emojis] Red area and TWO (2) [star emoji] stars. What flag is red and has two star.... ARMY Major General Army Officer Indoor Flag. Now why would that be on the side of an EMS vehicle. ? We are watching. [popcorn emoji] a MOVIE!

The image in the post is small and of a poor resolution, making it difficult to discern the gold marks on the ambulance.


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tuesday, Jan 3 23:16:52 2023 UTC)

At the 1:10 mark in the video below from The CW Network's KTLA 5 station, however, the gold or orange-colored electrical outlets can be seen clearly. They are not military stars and they are not part of the red swoosh graphic on the side of the ambulance; they are a part of the vehicle's electrical hardware called a shoreline.

The caption of the post on Facebook also states that the ambulance is unmarked and has no emergency lights. Both of these statements are false. The ambulance is from UC Health, a group of medical facilities associated with the University of Cincinnati.

The ambulance's "Air Care & Mobile Care" lettering is discreet, but visible from the 1:12-1:15 mark in the video (screenshot below).


(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Tuesday, Jan 3 23:16:52 2023 UTC)

At the 1:01 mark in the video (it's at 10 seconds in a longer video from ABC 7 Chicago), the ambulance is shown arriving, escorted by an apparent emergency vehicle, at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The ambulance's flashing lights and sirens are turned off as it approaches the hospital building.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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