8/10The main characters - Gage and DeSoto - keep it interesting
AlsExGal19 October 2010
I remember watching this great show on Saturday nights back when I was in high school. In those days, the networks put the good TV shows on Saturdays. Today, Saturday night is a graveyard for the pseudo-cancelled. It's hard to believe that almost 40 years ago the concept of the paramedic was a novel one, and this is a great show about the problems and personal lives of those involved in those early days of the program.
Emergency kept the pace fast and interesting with a combination of strange, dramatic, and even humorous cases. More unusual cases I remember from the series include the rescue of a boy trapped inside his own homemade rocket, a man who has difficulty breathing because he has swallowed his partial dental plate, an amateur magician trapped in a safe, a bank robbery hostage has symptoms of a heart attack and the paramedics have to treat him at gunpoint, a patient with an earache caused by mothballs, and an artist trapped inside his own sculpture.
The personal side of Emergency is interesting too. The chemistry between paramedics John Gage and Roy DeSoto is great and their various misadventures are frequently humorous. They're good friends but quite different people. Roy is a family man through and through, and John is a carefree single guy. I remember one particularly funny conversation in which John is actually thinking about marriage but is not sure he and the girl have known each other long enough. He asks Roy how long he knew his wife before they got married and Roy says 12 years. When John says that is a ridiculous period of time to wait, Roy mentions that he and his wife met in the fourth grade. That's a pretty typical conversation for the two. I highly recommend this series. If you've never seen it, even though medicine has changed drastically, it is still good entertainment. Highly recommended.
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7/10Was the show we talked about on our street.
mm-395 July 2019Warning: Spoilers
Was the show we talked about on our street. Between tag, and hide and seek the gang would talked about what happened on everyone favorite show Emergency! There was the the hospital staff, the fire fighters and the ems guys. Emergency would usually start out with a call and the secure the accident and every second show someone give mouth to mouth. Then on ward to the hospital to stabilize the patient! Then there would be a social/family issue. Well I found Emergency too formulated as a kid, but we loved playing pretend Emergency and make the Emergency noises. Never gave anyone mouth mouth which was a big failure when it was tried lol. 7 stars.
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8/10Jack Webb - New Venue
DKosty12310 September 2007
In a way, Jack Webb cloned his Adam-12 success with this series in 1972. The setting & cast are different, I mean how can anyone with a colorful name like Randolph Mantooth fail? The regulars on this series provided some spark for sure as like the Adam-12 team they provided some of the spark for this show too.
Another similar thing is the action. Being set in a fire house & on the streets often on calls, Emergency has it's fair share of action sequences. Most of them are very well done too. One difference between this & Adam-12 is that it is set in a 60 minute format so the stories could be bigger & more extensive.
This had to be an easy sell to NBC execs, as you have the experienced Jack Webb production team who seems to endlessly come up with good action stories & endlessly keeps finding cast members that play off each other well. This show was a very good show.
Once again, rerun heaven for it might be established once it is released on DVD, as it might pick up some fans.
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4/10Yep. A Very Disappointing TV Series
StrictlyConfidential18 April 2020
You know, I really don't care what anyone else might think - (IMO) - TV's "Emergency" only deserves a rating below that of 5 stars.
For one thing - At a 50-minute running time - This series' episodes were way-way-way too long. They contained so many filler scenes that it completely detracted one away from (and trivialized) the intended emergency drama of the show.
And, on top of that - I cannot believe that the auxiliary paramedics of LA's fire department (from Station #51) were always the ones to be expected to arrive at an emergency situation first.
Of course, it didn't help matters much that I found myself totally disliking 2 main characters in the show. And, they were goofball paramedic, John Gage (played by Randolph Mantooth) and ice-queen head-nurse, Dixie McCall (played by Julie London).
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9/10Continues to be one of the best television series
tabuno18 April 2021
Emergency surprisingly remains as compelling and intriguing a fire, paramedic, and medical television series as ever. Even though some of the vehicles, equipment, and American culture have become obviously dated, the usually realistic and unadorned emergency situations continue to have very relevant plotlines. Most episodes avoid extended relational drama using only more concise and pertinent acting that offer its audience plenty of action and naturalistic emergency stories from start to finish, much like Law and Order (1990-2010) provided a seamless law enforcement arrest to prosecution scenarios. Emergency, like the successor reality television mystique, retains both a period of time experience of the seventies while at the same offers a captivating paramedic and emergency drama that as often as not are just as contemporary and relevant as today. It is a quality testament that this almost half a century old television series can be as fascinating as most contemporary television shows. It is one of the few television series that can be seen over and over with the same amount of appreciation and fun even educational satisfaction.
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4/10A Mediocre TV Show
strong-122-4788857 October 2012
At best, this TV show from 1972 was only marginally entertaining.
At times it became quite monotonous and predictable as they desperately tried to make each episode's emergency rescue mission seem unique and interesting. But, in the long run, it all ended up seeming like the same old thing.
This show was partly ruined by the 2 asinine characters John and Roy from Squad 51. These 2 goofs and their dumb and pathetic attempts at generating some humor (as weak as it was) were almost unbearable to watch at times.
I do not recommend this show at all.
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Sargebri7 March 2004
Twenty years before George Clooney and Anthony Edwards made emergency rooms sexy, Randolph Mantooth graced the bedroom walls of many a young teenage girl. This was probably the first medical show where action was a key component of the plot. This was a hallmark of the man who created this show, Jack Webb. Most medical shows up until that point were basically soap operas that dealt with the traumas of life and death. This show was the first that really made the viewers look at the day to day action of a modern hospital emergency room. Because of this, many of its young viewers were inspired to become firemen, paramedics and doctors.
Also, this was one of the most ironic shows on television due to the fact that Jack Webb not only hired his ex-wife and her current husband to play two of the leads. That had to make it very interesting in production meetings.
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10/10A Saturday night staple back in the day
raysond8 June 2000
"Emergency" was a show that had it all....gripping medical drama combine with high adventure and cliffhanging excitement. As a child growing up,it was a Saturday night staple during its run on NBC that lasted six seasons and 122 episodes airing from January 15,1972 until May 28, 1977 with six made for television movies based on the series airing from January 7,1978 until July 3, 1979. The series was produced under Jack Webb's production company Mark VII Limited Productions and Universal Television and was the creation of producer Jack Webb along with Robert A. Cinader and Harold Jack Bloom who served as executive producers. "Emergency!" premiered as the mid-season replacement for two NBC situation comedies that were abruptly canceled..."The Don Adams Show",and "The Good Life" on its Saturday night schedule in January of 1972.
Basically,it was a show about paramedics but a whole lot more. The show not only follow the lives of two paramedics DeSoto(played by Kevin Tighe),and Gage(played by Randolph Mantooth)at Station 51 of the Los Angeles County Fire Department who risk their lives saving people in daring but sometimes dangerous situations,but it also follows the staff and doctors at Mayfair Rampart General Hospital,particularly the details in the lives of Dr. Brackett(played by Robert Fuller),and Dr. Early(played by Bobby Troup),and the head nurse McCall(played by 50's recording artist Julie London). Its premiere episode from January 15,1972(which was also the pilot episode of the series)was the most gripping ever,which in turn begins the partnership of Gage and Desoto and the situations they encounter(which in a riveting and powerful episode Nurse McCall is injured when she tries to save a woman from a burning car hanging inches over a steep cliff,and its up to Gage and Desoto in a race against time to save them both). This also featured in the pilot episode Martin Milner and Kent McCord from "Adam-12"(also another successful Jack Webb produced series for NBC).
The producer and creator of this show was Jack Webb(the man who was Joe Friday from Dragnet)who made "Emergency!" one of the best action- adventure series ever to come out of the 1970's which during that time he was producing shows like "Adam-12","The District Attorney aka "The D.A.",and "O'Hara-US Treasury")and it was so successful on its prime time Saturday night line-up against strong competition with "The Mary Tyler Moore Show",and "All In The Family". The series was such a colossal hit that NBC also green lighted under the supervision of Jack Webb its own Saturday Morning cartoon show under the title "Emergency Plus-4" that aired on NBC's Saturday Morning schedule on September 8,1973 featuring the voices of Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe.
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MiketheWhistle19 June 2020
I remember watching this as a kid and boy did I have a crush on Ms. London. The series was pretty stiff, but was a groundbreaking show that set the stage for so many shows to come. From the standpoint of accuracy, it was pretty accurate and they took a lot of steps to try and make sure it was. For the most part, medical errors were fairly minor to medium, but for me this was a great series as it directed me on a career path of sorts encouraging me to enlist in the Navy to become a corpsman. Well worth the time to watch.
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9/10Groundbreaking in hindsight
MiketheWhistle26 October 2020
This was the first series to highlight emergency medicine as well as in a limited way bring the exceptional military field medicine to the public's attention. It offered a variety of rescue scenarios and also showcased the bravery of firemen. It was the series inspired me to enlist in the navy to become a corpsman and I'm sure it inspired many others.
Also, Julie London was one of my first crushes along with Barbara Bain from Mission Impossible. They were two very accomplished, beautiful actresses of their time.
Now not all of the medical info shown was accurate although it could be some because of what was learned over the decade between it's airing and when I learned my craft. When one thinks about it, so many shows followed in its path and the actors should be recognized for their accomplishments.
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9/10Rampart This Is Rescue 51-We Have A Pulse
buckikris28 November 2015Warning: Spoilers
This is one show I got to watch at night as a kid, the other was The Rockford Files. I loved Emergency and still do today, a great show that the whole family can watch together. A lot has changed for E.M.T.'s and Paramedics since that show aired back in the day. Emergency was one of the first medical dramas I remember; and it seemed like everyone watched it during it's syndication. I remember when I was young my friends and I would pretend we were Gage and De Soto. Gage was my favorite, but both meshed together, and that's part of the reason why the show was successful. That and the reality of the situations; because not every rescue was successful.
The show follows Station 51, a fictional company; but a real fire station in Los Angeles, CA.. It mainly follows station 51's Paramedic's John Gage( Randolph Mantooth) and Roy De Soto (Kevin Tighe). It also brings in station 51's firefighting crew, and one of them is a real firefighter. Mike Stoker who was lucky enough to be involved with the series. This show inspired me to want to become an E.M.T., eventually I went into Criminal Justice/Safety.
I learned a lot watching Emergency, medical wise at a young age. I couldn't wait until it came on each week because it was so exciting, and action packed. Emergency led the way to other shows such as E.R., Trauma, Chicago F.D., to name a few. An Excellent show that has stood the test of time.
THX, Kris L. CocKayne
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2/10Quality was similar to a 70s or 50s hygiene film for high school health class.
keelhaul-808561 November 2017Warning: Spoilers
This show sucks!
I like many of the older shows that my parents grew up on, and they still translate nicely today.
This is NOT one of them!
How does this show have such great ratings? Must be from people who never saw another classic show or had absolutely NOTHING to watch during the years it actually aired.
This show is the epitome of watching paint dry.
The film quality looks like bad high school films of the 70s that they rehash every once in a while, like, "My body, my teeth, and myself"= or something equally cheesy that sounds obsolete.
The actors do nothing for me at all. They look like C-string losers from the start. The humor is in small doses, but these doses are empty. The drama is really, really lame. = Sirens going off for a long time, annoying people, and then they pull up on a scene where some kid with an afro is laying under a smashed ice cream truck or something. They go in and help him, like paramedics and firemen typically do, and there is some ridiculously boring side story, and resolution. =BOOM. That's literally it= the same damn thing for 500 episodes.
Not one episode stands out as different or memorable-- they all look and sound the same, with the same premise, and a script that I could have written myself while drunk at McDonald's, eating cheeseburgers.
I cannot believe the appeal and ratings listed for this show. The only eye candy was Julie London, or some guest star, and none of these actors from the main cast have ever been seen in anything famous again-- for good reason.
I used to roll my eyes and start making jokes/insults every time this comes on in reruns that my parents still watch. They would be like, "it's OK, there's nothing else on." = That sums it up, and even with NOTHING else on TV, I would rather pick lint out of my butt crack than watch this show for more than 10 mins.
There is nothing groundbreaking, except that this was one of the first shows to feature the daily routines of city cops, firemen, and rescue workers-- which has now been done to death ad nauseam by 2017.
Dragnet(so stiff it is actually comical), Adam-12, Cannon, Hawaii 5- 0, Columbo= are all WAY BETTER THAN THIS SHOW, if you are looking through classic TV show stations to watch.
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bcolquho3 June 2005
Before the 55th Precinct, before Sully, before Ty, before Doc, before Carlos, there was Emergency! Emergency! was the Third Watch of the '70s. Granted, it got its start on Adam 12 and it wasn't an integrated show like Third Watch, but in those naive days pre- 9/111/01, it was pretty cool. Roy Desoto, Johnny Gage, and the rest of Station 51, where Squad 51 was based, was actually a real fire station. That was the station shown in the opening scene. It was about the lives of the paramedics of the LA County Fire Department. Like Third Watch, Emergency! was about the professional lives of the paramedics. Unlike Third Watch, it didn't show their private lives. Desoto's wife, Joanne, wasn't seen in the series at all. The rescues were real. The fires were also real. However, as the disclaimer said at the end of the show, the names were changed to protect the innocent.
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Thor200024 September 2001
You have to consider a show great if it can convincingly combine both medical drama and nail-biting action rescues. The writers, creators, special effects artists and stuntmen on this show went to great ends to think up convincing accidents and then depict them for entertainment purposes. Throw in two likeable guys in the form of Keving Tighe and Randy Mantooth along with a station of cut-ups and you have a hit series on your hands. A lot of tongue in cheek humor made this series for me as Gage was always trying to get rich quick or fireman Chet Kelly letting loose with the practical jokes, but yet it was all played straight to save others as we the viewers learned at least superficially the ins and outs of the paramedic business. Kudos to a well remembered and well liked show !
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8/10It's time to KMG365 with Station 51 Again!
NutzieFagin27 April 2013Warning: Spoilers
People may bash the seventies, but I grew up in that decade and it wasn't so bad. The young ones today will find out one of the best things out there is Retro TV and one of the best shows from the seventies was Emergency! One of the things about Emergency was that it was rarely boring to watch. Each show was comprised of usually one plot with many sub plots (or the situation and accidents fireman and paramedics encounter on the job) And BOY! did they think of some doozies! Besides your run of the mill car accidents, heart patients and slips and falls, you may get kids trapped in tree trunks--hang gliders banging into cliffs--or lovely naked women getting their big toe stuck into a bath facet. Whatever the situation, call the boys at Station 51 they can handle EVERY job!.
Of course for the show, you will need the medical hospital staff as back up to help after your victim has been rescued. The staff at the Emergency (Rampart hospital) is basically professional and the most expert I've ever seen since Marcus Welby. They also seem to work 24 hrs a day because I've never seen any other personnel working. The "staff" consists of the ever caring "Dixie McCall" (Julie London) the concerned "Kelly Bracket" and "Joe Early" played by the Bobby Troupe. Boy I wish I had these guys as my personal doctors--I'd would probably live a good long life! And those lovable guys at the firehouse Station 51 ain't bad neither. Each member at Station 51 may have their troubles but all of them support each other. Mike Stoker (I figured he was a real firefighter because driving the truck IS NOT easy) Marco who gives that Latino ethnic quality, Chet Kelly--who seems to act like the Firehouse Mum because he is always concerned about the health and welfare of his comrades, and Capt'n Stanley whose job it is to keep this motley crew in line.
Of course, lastly there are the two stars of the series, Randolph Mantoot( John Gage) who probably had to fight off the female fans with a fire hose and Kevin Tighe(Roy Desoto)with his expert medical knowledge on the job. I did remember hearing that some viewers who saw how Gage and Desoto worked on the job (CPR etc) actually saved lives from watching the show. These two seem to have great chemistry between each other as co-stars---whatever their magic is, it seems to work with the viewers.
So Hail Retro TV!! Watch the show and fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride from the firehouse.
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Paul-30817 May 2003
In a lot of ways Emergency brought about change in the Rescue field that many of us couldn't even imagine.There once was a time when car accident victims couldn't be treated on site,as in the pilot Emergency episode demonstrated,that all changed with the help and exposure of Emergency.The term EMT was never heard of before,nor "Paramedic" by many,but thankfully the service that we take for granted today was helped along big time by Jack Webb and the talented cast of Emergency.I cant imagine anyone forgetting about this program,for it was a big part of every kid's viewing and play acting habits in the 70s (and 80s too with the syndicated "Emergency One" reruns).I cant think of any other program that has done so much good for so many as this program has (excepting Americas Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries).Remember,there would have been no "Rescue 9-1-1" with William Shatner,no St Elsewhere,no ER...had Gage and Desoto not rescued the injured in their trusty red 72 Dodge.Praise them all,and may Jack Webb be forever immortalized. Now the 1st season will be released in August on DVD!!!! Finally! Time for Emergency to live again,and that adorably cute Nurse Sharon Walter (Patricia Mickey)to gain a whole new crowd of male fans.
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savagesteve1310 October 2011
Emergency! is a rather quirky show, it seems almost devoid of lame, syrupy soap opera style plots you see on modern hospital and rescue shows. People aren't sleeping with each others wives and husbands, there is no quiet introspection by characters, and it is free from the general emotional malaise you see on shows now.
Just the facts, you see the process of a rescue, the interactions, the diagnosis, the risk taking and everybody acts professional. I guess back in those days they cared about you and didn't ask for a $100 co-payment while you are on the stretcher! It is quite an intriguing show and it is glued together with just enough human interaction to form elegant and watchable episodes. The situations sometimes are humorous and sometimes head scratching, but isn't that life? You would think the process of alarm-driving-rescue-hospital-ending would get monotonous, but each episode is unique, and you gotta admit the fire rescue stuff looks fun. Sure its dangerous but you get a lot of toys to play with, you help people, and people respected you in return.
The show falls somewhere in between a drama and reality TV.
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Air America13 December 2007Warning: Spoilers
This telecast used to come on at 4:00 PM our local time. I had just started in a rural practice my first year out of medical school as a physician assistant. I used to catch glimpses of the series each day during afternoon rounds, but seldom did I get to see an entire episode.
I was grateful that full seasons were available on DVD. Since I finished my quest to acquire some of these, I have been watching them observing their principal features; getting a lot of enjoyment from the realism of the plots and the pursuits used to make diagnoses in those times. Realism was also very, very faithful. Only once did I note that a couple of amps of sodium bicarbonate were not given following an episode of cardiac arrest. And in an early episode I saw an elderly patient who was dehydrated given D5 and ½ Normal Saline so it was not all D5&W or Ringer's Lactate.
Quite enjoyable is seeing the technology and equipment in use at the time, (not to mention the clothing we wore then: polyester shirts and double-knit trousers). As one of the first PAs, we were taught to employ even more ancient technology at a time when physicians actually touched their patients instead of reviewing test results. An example was the use of chest percussion to evaluate lung condition and heart size. The further use of abdominal palpation and percussion to determine liver size, locate areas possibly containing fluid, and the use of the other senses such as observing the patient's coloration, and the particulars of smell such as might occur with exposure to foreign agents.
I had forgotten the ancient Datascope cathode ray tube monitor that one had to really concentrate on to recognize the electrical processes going on within the heart. Other ancient CRT systems were used and only recently did I see the same style of equipment one viewed in early days of a heart echocardiogram and skull echoencephalogram. Today we especially appreciate having the modern automated blood pressure apparatus, the likewise modern method of obtaining body temperature, pulse and respiration, oxygen saturation and the modern twelve lead EKG taken all leads simultaneously, and all seen on one sheet.
Too, it is a trip into the past to hear the names and uses of older medications which have been largely replaced today. Today the common aspirin can have life-saving properties when chewed and swallowed during an acute episode of chest pain due to arterial compromise. Another medication is still used which goes back centuries, and is the best pain reliever known, morphine sulfate. Conversely, I saw an earlier episode of poisoning of a child who ingested the wild version of the ancient poison used by Socrates, hemlock.
One of the first things interestingly noted is the apparent absence of use of the then commonly available rudimentary automobile seat belt. In 1974 I did not have a newer car, being too poor, but my old 1970 Chevy did have seat belts. In each episode you see Gage and DeSoto bolting into the Dodge, putting on their fireman's hats, and roaring off to the scene.
I have to comment on the acting skills of physicians Dr. Brackett, Dr. Early and RN nurse McCall. I seem to remember that Robert Fuller's earlier acting life had principally been in western films. I have to say that both of these physician-surgeons did justice to their high honors as Fellows of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), though seldom seen in actual operating room surgery scenes. Today the emergency physicians most likely are Fellows of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), which by the way, was even around in 1968 though trained, board certified physicians in the specialty were still in a minority.
Julie London is particularly memorable, having first known of her as what came to be called a "torch-singer," and a principal one who succeeded greatly in the recording industries. Her albums continue to sell and entertain today, probably 50 years after they were recorded. A particular effort was noticeably made by the writers to portray her breakthroughs in reaching significantly proper conclusions and discerning facts.
Having been one of the first five hundred PAs, I have an understanding of the problems facing the early EMTs. Today they fill expanded roles and are permitted to function in a similar manner as PAs, using their education and training to make decisions in the field and to initiate many life-saving procedures without first getting "permission" from a supervising physician. Like us, they do follow established protocols and are also said to be under physician supervision at all times, though this does not mean they have to be supervised "over-the-shoulder" as in earlier times such as during training.
I am not completely through the first season of episodes I received, which unfortunately came out-of-order, and I look forward to seeing the first season when it arrives. Likely I will complete the set as I have a lot of time to view material now, having been retired for 8 years. I was not a youngster when I began my education at Wichita State University in 1973.
It is also noteworthy to follow the changes in the emergency transport vehicles from the old style Hearse-types, to a similar version with an extended upper roofline. Then the first two-tiered stretcher square-shaped van, becoming later seen as the full size custom made coachwork of the modern mobile intensive care capable vehicles in general use today in most locales on North America.
I highly recommend this series and echo most of the remarks made by earlier writers such as how it was the landmark presentation whose success made succeeding series possible and of interest to us viewers. My hat is off to all who had any hand in the production of Emergency! Thanks all!
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8/10An classic series that has aged unevenly .
Ken-1201 May 2003
When I was a kid, this series was a blast to watch with its action and fire trucks. However, watching this series again after so many years tends to bring its flaws to light.
For instance, the show generally worked on a strict formula. The typical episode generally had some expository action at the fire station to set up the humour subplot just before the station is called up for a dispatch. After that, the episode generally alternates the action with the paramedics responding to calls which themselves alternate with the serious and trivial while the staff of Rampart Hospital follow up. At the end, the fire crew typically responds to a major emergency, typically a big fire with explosions. In between the calls, there is the humour subplot at the station with is typically a bunch of comedic piffle which often involves the paramedic crew trying out a scheme to find another career outside the service. I typically mute those scenes which unfortunately often means missing their cool dispatch klaxon.
With that being said, the show still is a thrill when the characters focus on their jobs, The rescue sequences are exciting affairs that show excellent production values in a time when American network TV could pull in the audience numbers to justify the budgets for those spectacular scenes.
In short, this series is still wonderful viewing on a late saturday night, but more frequent viewings would wear it out for the viewer. However on a weekly basis, its a fun view.
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10/10On of the classics and set the tone for EMS Svcs today
metdvls-12 May 2020
This show was as much an education as it was entertaining.
It introduced the country to emergency medical services. Before we had life saving abilities of the remarkable people in EMS, if you you had a severe car accident or a heart attack or burned in a fire- you had a better chance of dying than living.
Even as the show was in primetime- the technology changes. From how you treat burns with sterile dressing/sheets to antishock pants. But many of the techniques are still in your and have been enhanced by technology
A lot of people became EMS AND EMT's because of this show- if you doubt it- look up Bobby Sherman the actor. And those people intern saved a lot of lives.
So maybe all of you negative reviewers will show a little more frackin respect if you are dying of a heart attack and a paramedic is pounding on your chest trying your frackin life.
One word for Universal- maybe you could spend a little more money and remaster this classic you cheap ba$%#£ds.
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Jason-17329 April 2000
You will never see more grilled cheese sandwiches grilled anywhere than here. It's like they never had anything better to do between emergencies than bake cookies and fry sandwiches.
Also, what is 'd5w with a lactate ringer' and why were they always injecting people with it?
Remember how they used to spring from a deep sleep to respond to a middle-of-the-night emergency? My God, if I tried to do that my heart would explode.
My favourite moment from the show: Gage catches DeSoto fiddling with his hose in the back of the truck (season six).
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10/10Absolutely loved this series
pbartbar14 May 2021
I absolutely loved this series. Glad that is is being replayed on a local station that is showing old television series. They don't make them like this anymore. Can't watch a tv show now days without the political garbage worked in.
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10/10Loved this show!
pyattimac10 April 2021
I loved Emergency and watched it faithfully all the way through. Randy Mantooth was a babe and still is. I became an EMT because of that show, and would have gone on to paramedic training but wound up going back to school and became an M. D. I have the entire series on DVD and enjoy it to this day.
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7/10Go go Gage & DeSoto
onamission17 September 2007
One of my best-remembered shows as a kid. What set this show apart from its predecessors was in drawing respect from the audience for the firefighters it portrays; for the first time the paramedics, doctors and firefighters didn't arrive to wave a magic wand putting the fire out and saving the patient. The range of (at the time) operating medical and CB radio procedures and terminology, the open identification with real-time Los Angeles and the range of rescue situations faced by Station 51 and their paramedics showed how thorough Jack Webb's research and commitment to authenticity was, pushing the benefits of the paramedic program in the face of a skeptical California state government; as a concerned West Coast citizen with an eye on the Big One he probably knew this was an important step forward in public health that would save many, many lives when that day inevitably arrived. Rescue 911, ER, Law & Order, Third Watch, Cops; the entire medical and police reality television genre can trace their origins to Emergency! and once a compatible DVD box set for Australian players arrives I'll have it to reminisce with too.
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1. There were only 12 paramedic units in North America when the show premiered.
In a sense, Emergency! saved lives in the real world. According to the book Emergency! Behind the Scenes, there were only 12 paramedic units in all of North America when the series made its debut in 1972. By 1977, over fifty percent of all Americans were within ten minutes of an ambulance unit or paramedic rescue, thanks to the influence of the gripping television drama.
2. The television rescues were ripped from the pages of real logbooks.
In a 2014 interview, Randolph Mantooth explained how series co-creator and producer Robert A. Cinader asked the writing staff to pull all the rescues to be portrayed on the show from a real fire station's logbook. "He told them it didn’t have to come from just LACoFD or Los Angeles or even California, but it did have to come from someone’s logbook." At first the writers protested, but after reading fire logs from around the country, they proclaimed, "You couldn’t make some of this stuff up!”
3. John Travolta earned his first TV credit on the show.
In 1972, after moving to L.A. to pursue his acting career, a young Travolta landed his first credited television role on the second episode of the second season of Emergency!, "Kids." The soon-to-be-Sweathog plays a 16-year-old hiker who falls off a cliff. Yep, that's Barbarino lying on the ground. This is also the episode that introduced Boot the dog.
4. The crew wore real badges.
The badges used on the show were authentic fire department badges. Each night after filming had finished, the shields were collected, safely stored away and then reissued the next day.
5. There was an 'Emergency!' cartoon, too.
Considering the realism of the show, it might surprise you to learn that it was adapted into that most unreal of mediums — Saturday morning cartoons. The attention to detail slipped a bit with Emergency+4. In the opening sequence, Roy DeSoto is shown sliding down a fireman's pole… in a one story firehouse. Oh, and there was a monkey. The "+4" referred to an ambulance piloted by a group of children and their pets that assisted DeSoto and Gage. Series regulars Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth voiced their animated characters as well!
6. There was a failed animal control spin-off with Mark Harmon called '905-Wild'.
The season four episode "905-Wild" was intended to be a pilot for a new show chronicling the cases of two Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control officers, played by Mark Harmon and Albert Popwell. The spin-off series failed to sell. However, as you can see in the picture, Harmon landed a quite similar role in 240-Robert, a short-lived LA rescue series from CHiPs creator Rick Rosner. Read more about the show.
7. The was a subtle, minor crossover with 'CHiPs'
Speaking of CHiPs, there were a couple blink-and-you'll-miss-it crossovers between Emergency! and the motorcycle patrol show. Squad 51 can be seen responding in the season one episode "Cry Wolf," while in season two's "MAIT Team" Engine 51 and Squad 51 show up to the scene of a horrific pile-up. Squad 51 made another cameo in season three with "Hot Wheels."
8. There is a real Station 51 now.
The LACoFD Fire Station 127 building in Carson stood in for the fictitious Station 51 on the television series. The station number "51" was allowed to be used by Universal Television as there was no real Station 51 at the time, the previous having closed in the 1960s. However, in 1995, when Universal Studios in Universal City, California, required a fire station, it was dubbed Station 51 in honor of Emergency!
American television series
For other uses, see Emergency (disambiguation).
Emergency! is an American television series that combines the medical drama and action-adventure genres. It was a joint production of Mark VII Limited and Universal Television. It debuted on NBC as a midseason replacement on January 15, 1972, replacing the two short-lived situation comedy series The Partners and The Good Life, and ran for a total of 122 episodes until May 28, 1977, with six additional two-hour television films during the next two years, 1978 and 1979.
The series stars Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe as two rescuers, who work as paramedics and firefighters in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The duo formed Squad 51, a medical and rescue unit of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. They work in concert with the fictional Rampart General Hospital medical staff (portrayed by Robert Fuller, Julie London and Bobby Troup), and with the firefighter engine company at Station 51.
Emergency! was created and produced by Jack Webb and Robert A. Cinader, who had also created the police dramas Adam-12 and Dragnet. Harold Jack Bloom is also credited as a creator; Webb does not receive screen credit as a creator. In the show's original TV-movie pilot, Webb was credited only as its director. However, the series aimed to be much more realistic than its predecessors as it portrayed emergency medical services (EMS). Pioneering EMS leader James O. Page served as a technical advisor, and the two main actors underwent some paramedic training.
The series aired at a time when ambulance coverage in the United States was rapidly expanding and changing, and the role of a paramedic was emerging as a profession. The series is credited with popularizing the concepts of EMS and paramedics in American society, and even inspiring other states and municipalities to expand the service.
Nearly 30 years after Emergency! debuted, the Smithsonian Institution accepted Emergency! memorabilia into its National Museum of American History's public-service section, including the firefighters' helmets, turnouts, Biophone, and defibrillator. The vehicles of Station 51 are a part of the collection of the Los Angeles County Fire Museum.
The series is set at the fictional Fire Station 51 of the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), where one fire engine and the paramedic rescue squad are stationed. The focus is on two young firefighter-paramedics John Roderick "Johnny" Gage (Randolph Mantooth), a young, immature man who is always unlucky in love, and Roy DeSoto (Kevin Tighe), a more mature family man. They crew the rescue squad, Squad 51, and, in addition to providing emergency medical care, also carry out some technical rescues such as vehicle extrication.
The paramedics are supervised by the Emergency Room (ER) staff of Rampart General Hospital: head physician Dr. Kelly Brackett (Robert Fuller), head nurse Dixie McCall (Julie London), neurosurgeon Dr. Joe Early (played by London's real-life husband Bobby Troup), and young intern Dr. Michael "Mike" Morton (Ron Pinkard, who, in the earliest episodes, also portrayed another intern, Dr. Thomas Gray).
Other regular characters are the firefighters of Station 51's "A" shift, one of whom was played by an active LACO FD firefighter. These characters include Chester B. "Chet" Kelly (Tim Donnelly), Marco Lopez (Marco Lopez) and Mike Stoker (LACoFD firefighter Mike Stoker as himself). LACoFD Dispatcher Samuel Lanier portrayed himself in an uncredited voice role (over the radio) throughout the series, and he is also occasionally shown in a brief clip at the dispatch office just before a dispatch is heard in later seasons. Lanier, an actual LACoFD Dispatcher, retired from the department shortly after Emergency! finished. Lopez speaks Spanish, and occasionally translates for the crew when a victim or onlooker spoke Spanish but no English. Unusually, Lopez, Stoker and Dick Hammer play characters named after themselves, though in two episodes, Hammer's character is played by John Smith.
In each series, there is another who holds the rank of Captain present. These are Captain Dick Hammer (LACoFD Captain Richard Hammer as himself for first season/episodes 1–9, then later John Smith for the last two episodes of the season), Captain Hank Stanley (Michael Norell, during the remaining seasons) and Captain Gene "Captain Hook" Hookrader in a couple of later episodes. Actor John Anderson portrayed Captain Bob Roberts in one Season 4 episode, "Smoke Eater".
Other recurring characters include Battalion Chiefs Conrad (Art Balinger), Sorensen (Art Gilmore), Miller, and McConnike (William Boyett), Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy/Carson Police Officer/Sergeant Vince (Vince Howard), and recurring ambulance attendants Albert "Al" (Angelo DeMeo) and his assistant, George (George Orrison). Boyett was also a regular on Adam-12, playing Sergeant MacDonald; and Gilmore is a recurring character on the same show, playing watch commander Lieutenant Moore.
- Robert Fuller as Kelly Brackett, M.D., F.A.C.S., A.C.E.P.
- Julie London as Dixie McCall, R.N.
- Bobby Troup as Joe Early, M.D., F.A.C.S., A.C.E.P.
- Ron Pinkard as Mike Morton, M.D. (identified in the cast of the pilot as "Dr. Tom Gray," also an intern—the two characters never appeared together).
- Randolph Mantooth as Firefighter Paramedic John Gage, L.A. County FD Squad 51
- Kevin Tighe as Firefighter Paramedic Roy DeSoto, L.A. County FD Squad 51
- Tim Donnelly as Firefighter Chester B. "Chet" Kelly, L.A. County FD Engine 51
- Marco Lopez as Firefighter Marco Lopez, L.A. County FD Engine 51
- Mike Stoker as Firefighter Specialist Mike Stoker, L.A. County FD Engine 51
- Dick Hammer as CaptainDick Hammer (First Season Only), L.A. County FD Engine 51
- John Smith as Captain Hammer in episode "Hang-Up" 1st season, as Captain in episode "Crash" 1st season, L.A. County FD Engine 51 (The back of this actor's turnout coat reads "Van Orden," but he is never called by name on the show; he is simply referred to as "Captain.")
- Art Balinger as Battalion Chief Conrad
- Art Moore as Battalion Chief
- Michael Norell as Captain Henry "Hank" Stanley, L.A. County FD Engine 51
- James McEachin as Detective Lieutenant Ronald Crockett LAPD.
- Vince Howard as L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Vince Howard/Carson Police Officer/Sergeant Vince Howard.
- William Boyett as Battalion Chief McConnike (Season 6) Chief Battalion 14
- Sam Lanier (uncredited) as, and providing the voice of, the LACoFD dispatcher.
The role of Dixie McCall was originally written as a love interest for Fuller's character, Dr. Kelly Brackett, though the on-screen romance between Brackett and McCall was gradually downplayed and eventually ignored over the course of the series; this was explained by Brackett's and McCall's romance not having worked out.
The series was created by Robert Cinader and Jack Webb. Webb had previously created Dragnet, and with Cinader had jointly created Adam-12, both of which were TV series about policing. In 1971, Cinader and Webb met with Captain Jim Page and other officers from the LACoFD to discuss creating a show about firefighters. Initially they planned to focus the show on physical rescues, but felt that there would not be enough ideas for episodes. Page suggested they look to the LACoFD's new paramedic program for ideas.
At the time, the Los Angeles area was home to 2 of the 12 paramedic programs in the United States (as opposed to ambulances that provided basic first aid or only transport). In 1970, Governor Ronald Reagan had signed the Wedworth-Townsend Act which allowed paramedic programs to be trialed in Los Angeles County. In September 1971, Cinader and Webb signed a contract with NBC to develop the series. The initial pilot film of Emergency!, titled "The Wedsworth-Townsend Act", focuses on the passage of a similar law to the Wedworth-Townsend Act that permits paramedics to operate.
Cinader asked the writers to get all the rescues that were to be portrayed on the show from fire stations' logbooks. Along the same line, the series was technically accurate as every script was fact-checked and approved by the series' technical consultants, Dr. Michael Criley (the man who had initially created the LACoFD Paramedic program) and LACoFD Battalion Chief James O. Page. There were always real paramedics serving as technical advisors on set every day for further technical advice.
To train for their parts, the actors, Mantooth and Tighe sat in some paramedic classes (although they never actually took any written exams) and went on extensive ride-alongs with LACoFD. In an interview with Tom Blixa of WTVN, Mantooth said that the producer wanted them to train so that they would at least know the fundamentals and look like they knew what they were doing on camera. Mantooth mentioned that you needed to take the entire course and pass all the skills stations and final certification exam to be a paramedic, and went on to admit that "if anyone has a heart attack, I'll call 911 with the best of them." Mantooth became an advocate for firefighters and paramedics after the series ended. He continued, as of late October 2014, to give speeches and make appearances all over the country at special events.
While Webb's Dragnet and Adam-12 followed a pair of detectives and patrolmen respectively, Emergency! followed the firemen and paramedics of Station 51, and the emergency room staff of Rampart General Hospital.
Typical episodes begin with the firemen and paramedics at the station going through such routines as cooking, cleaning equipment, or sleeping until a call comes from the dispatcher describing the emergency and its location. The call prompts the crew to immediately stop their routine and respond with organized precision. The firemen and paramedics respond to the scene of the emergency, where the paramedics almost always contact Rampart General Hospital to report their patient assessment and receive medical direction and treatment authorization, which often includes IV drug therapy. Many times the plot follows the accident victims and paramedics to Rampart.
Other plot lines end at the scene. When an event has ended, the crew return to Station 51 and resume their routines until another call is dispatched. Often, firemen DeSoto and Gage, who are best friends, engage in playful banter when an emergency call forces them to become serious-minded and immediately leave the station's living area to focus on the job at hand. Each episode typically climaxes with a major fire, disaster or rescue that often has multiple units engaged.
Because of the greater scope of its format, Emergency! was a full-hour series, whereas both Dragnet and Adam-12 were half-hour shows. Actual local disasters were worked into some story lines, such as the 1971 Sylmar earthquake which destroyed the newly completed Olive View Medical Center in the San Fernando Valley; and the June 22, 1973 "Crenshaw Fire" brush fire on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Further information: List of Emergency! episodes
Interior scenes were shot on Universal's sound stages. Exterior scenes of the fire station were shot at Station 127 in Carson, while exterior scenes of the hospital were shot at Harbor General Hospital (now Harbor-UCLA Medical Center).
Station 51 was represented by LACoFD Fire Station 127, located at 2049 East 223rd Street (between Wilmington Ave and Alameda St, with the 405 freeway visible in the background in wide shots) in Carson, California (33°49′28″N118°14′18″W / 33.82444°N 118.23833°W / 33.82444; -118.23833 – Maps Street View).
At the time the series aired, the LACoFD had no Station 51. It was the number of a station that had previously existed at the intersection of Arlington and Atlantic Avenues on the outskirts of Lynwood and Compton, and closed in the late 1960s when the area was annexed by Lynwood. Since 1994, the LACoFD has had a Station 51 in a different location. In an homage to the show, the fire station on the grounds of Universal Studios was renumbered from Station 60 to Station 51, more than 20 years after the debut of Emergency!. The vehicles based at Station 60 were accordingly renumbered. This station is therefore home to an actual Engine 51 and Squad 51, as well as Patrol 51 and Quint 51 (a ladder truck with ground ladders, fire pump, water tank and hose).
Station 127 was chosen by series co-creator Robert A. Cinader, and the station was eventually named in his honor (a plaque honoring Robert A. Cinader is now mounted on the station next to the office front door). Station 106 in Rolling Hills Estates, California, a similar design to 127, was initially the choice, but faced north (versus south), which would make it difficult to light properly. At the time of filming Station 127 housed Engine 127 and Truck 127 (a ladder truck), whereas the fictional Station 51 had a small rescue truck instead of a ladder truck. As of 2018, Station 127 now instead houses Quint 127 and Foam 127.
When filming on location took place, Truck 127 was moved off-site and replaced with Universal's Squad 51, while Engine 127 was disguised as Engine 51. After Universal obtained a 1973 Ward LaFrance to use as Engine 51, both of Station 127's apparatus would be replaced by Universal's Engine 51 and Squad 51 for filming on location. Despite being "kicked out" of their own station for filming, Truck 127 still appeared in numerous episodes under its own callsign. The Carson location of Station 127 was directly referenced in one episode where a phone call was traced to a house "in Carson" that Engine 51 and Squad 51 eventually responded to. Interior scenes at Station 51 were filmed on sets at the studio, which accurately recreated the interior of Station 127.
"KMG365", which is said by the crewmember acknowledging a call for a unit at Station 51, is a real FCCcall sign used by LACoFD assigned to Fire Station 98 in Bellflower, and it appears on the Station Patch for Station 127.
Rampart General Hospital
In the pilot episode, Rampart General Hospital is shown (in a letter to Dr. Brackett) to be located in Carson, California. At the time of filming, Rampart General Hospital was represented by Harbor General Hospital, located in Torrance, California at 1000 West Carson Street, the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Carson Street (33°49′49″N118°17′30″W / 33.83028°N 118.29167°W / 33.83028; -118.29167). The pairing of Station 127 and Harbor General as "Station 51" and "Rampart" was accurate, since if a squad had actually been quartered at Station 127, it would likely have operated from Harbor General Hospital, since they are only 2.1 miles (3.4 km) apart. Not accurate was the response area of Station 51. Many examples exist. As seen in season 6 episode 5, where they responded to 4000 N. Riverton Ave. Universal City, Truck 127 appeared in one episode where a rescue event occurred at Rampart (Harbor General), as the hospital really is in Truck 127's "first-due" district.
In an episode near the end of the series, one character, an aged jazz musician, hearing the name Rampart General, says, "My grandaddy used to play on Rampart Street in New Orleans!" The name Rampart actually comes from the show Adam-12 and is the real name of a division of the LAPD.
In 1978, by the approval of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Harbor General Hospital was renamed as Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
In 2018, CrowdRx, Inc., launched their Mobile Emergency Room Trailer, naming it "Rampart" to honor Rampart General Hospital.
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; taken Sat. March 28, 2015
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; taken Sat. March 28, 2015
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; taken Sat. March 28, 2015
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center; taken Sat. March 28, 2015
Los Angeles County Fire Dispatch
Footage of a dispatcher used during the show appears to have been filmed at the LACoFD Keith E. Klinger dispatch center in East Los Angeles. The screen he looked at to see the street maps is a rear projection from a Kodak Carousel projector built into the console. The man was actual LACoFD dispatcher Sam Lanier, who also lent his voice as the dispatcher for the series' entire run.
The familiar tones that called Station 51 into service were initiated by dispatch using a Motorola Quik Call I unit, a radio listening on a common paging frequency for a pair of special audio tones assigned to that station. For a large incident, one could often hear many sets of tones calling many stations, but only a specific pair would sound the buzzer for Station 51.
A long scene showing the sequence of microfiche reader address lookup to quik-call dispatch appears in the season six episode "Family Ties."
The creators of Emergency! tried to accurately portray the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) by using apparatus and equipment in current use. The extensive cooperation of the LACoFD is repeatedly apparent in the program. Although a few key items were fictionalized, such as the identification of Station 51 and its equipment, many of the locations and apparatus reflected the operating reality of locations used in some filming. Nearly 30 years after Emergency! debuted, the Smithsonian Institution accepted Emergency! memorabilia into its National History Museum, public-service section, including their helmets, turnouts, Biophone, and defibrillator.
The vehicles which represented Squad 51 were constructed by Universal crews and were accurate replicas of the units built in-house on stock 1970 Dodge D300 truck chassis' by LACoFD prior to the filming of "Emergency". There were three identical truck chassis' used to represent the original T.V. Squad 51. The LACoFD shops were unable to fulfill a request from Universal to build the first unit for the show within the short deadline the studio asked, but did provide the blueprints so the studio could build its own unit on a 1972 Dodge D300 chassis.
The replica's accuracy is evident in that the white light atop the Federal Signal Twinsonic lightbar was part of the blueprint, but never installed by LAcoFD on its departmental units. This light was intended to be used by other personnel and particularly dept helicopters to differentiate paramedic squads from regular rescue squads and other units operating that vehicle type. Prior to season 3, the studio acquired a 1973 D300 cab and chassis. All of the external paraphernalia (rear compartment box, lightbar, searchlights, K12 box, etc) were retained and installed on the second squad. This vehicle lasted for two seasons. In season 5 the third and final Dodge truck appeared. A 1974 model and this is the vehicle that presently resides in the LACoFD museum. Once again, the rear compartment box and lightbar from the original Squad 51 were retained. Also, the last two chassis came with a different engine grill, so the parts from the first truck were kept. The whereabouts of the first two stripped down Dodge D300's remains a mystery. After the filming of the series, at the Fire Department's request, the studio donated the unit to LACoFD in 1978, which pressed it into occasional service as a reserve unit before it was eventually retired from service.
In 1999, LACoFD donated the Universal-built squad to the Los Angeles County Fire Museum, which restored it and put it on display.
The original Engine 51 was a 1965 open-cab Crown Firecoach, and was represented by LACoFD Engine 127's 1965 Crown in stock footage at the fire station (in reality LACoFD Station 127), and by LACoFD Engine 60's 1965 Crown (the unit assigned to Universal Studios) for filming on the grounds of the studio. In a few instances in the first and second seasons, the regular apparatus borrowed from LACoFD and used for filming appear to have been unavailable as some scenes show a slightly different vintage Crown Firecoach pumper, most evident by the different style of emergency lights on the cab's roof. Given that the truck was on loan from the LACoFD, Mike Stoker, a firefighter from that department who was professionally qualified to drive such a vehicle and also happened to be a member of the Screen Actors Guild, was cast in the series. The mixing of stock station and response footage with footage filmed for specific storylines created continuity errors by mixing these apparatus.
Early in the third season, Engine 51 was represented by a 1973 closed-cab Ward LaFrance P80 Ambassador triple-combination pumper. LACoFD was purchasing numerous P80s at the time, and Ward LaFrance donated a P80 unit to Universal Studios specifically for use in the series as product placement. The Ward LaFrance Engine 51 was thus not a disguised unit and did not require the use of LACoFD resources for filming.
Engine 127's 1965 Crown, one of the two originally used for the series, was later refitted with a closed cab. Eventually it was placed into reserve status when Station 127 received a new engine. In its reserve capacity, it was serving temporarily as Engine 95 when it was involved in a collision. Damaged beyond repair in the collision, it was salvaged for parts and sold as scrap. The County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Association now owns and has restored the 1965 Crown which formerly served as Engine 60 at Universal Studios and appeared most often as the Crown version of Engine 51.
The Ward LaFrance P80 Ambassador that represented Engine 51, owned by the studio outright, made its final Emergency! appearance in the movie The Steel Inferno, but it was marked as Engine 110. The Ward remained at Universal Studios as a prop following the conclusion of the series, and made brief appearances such as in the film The China Syndrome (1979) and a short educational film produced by the National Fire Protection Association in 1984. Eventually, the Ward was pressed into active duty at Yosemite National Park, as MCA Recreation Services (Universal's then-owner/operator) was under contract to provide visitor services at the park at the time, and it remained with YNP Fire after MCARS's involvement at the Park ended.
As the fire department for the concession area was private (not state or federal), the engine had the California personalized (vanity) license plate YCS E51. It served continuously as YNP Fire's Engine 7 until it was retired and replaced in July 2008. Per terms of a previous agreement between the Park and the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Association, the museum assumed ownership of the Ward and added it to the museum collection. In 2012, the museum finished a complete restoration of the Ward to its original appearance in the show.
Both of Station 51's vehicles have also been immortalized as Hot Wheels diecast vehicles Emergency Squad (1998) and Fire-Eater (1977) respectively.
Antique Dennis Fire Engine
An antique fire engine was the part of three episodes of the show. In the third season, episode 2, entitled, "The Old Engine", Gage and DeSoto see a derelict fire engine in a scrap yard during a fire. They purchase the vehicle for $80 according to the script and attempt to renovate it. The script says it is a 1932 Dennis fire engine, but the vehicle is a Dennis Ace model, that was manufactured from 1934–39 and sold to the British market including Australia, New Zealand, and India. Records indicate this model was not sold in the US.
In Season 4, Episode 13, "The Parade", the two paramedics have finished their restoration of the Dennis Ace fire engine for the California Firefighters Parade, though having to replace a part that just busted. En route to the parade, wearing antique uniforms, the two spot an apartment fire and respond in the engine using its antiquated equipment to rescue two people trapped in the building before LACoFD arrives. The Dennis Ace is heavily damaged when the structure collapses onto it. In Season 5, Episode 2, "The Old Engine Cram" the main characters are informed by Nurse McCall that a man is looking to buy that same model of fire engine. Unfortunately, the engine is mistakenly referred to in the script as a 1923 Paige when it is actually a Dennis.
The orange radio Gage and DeSoto used was a model 3502 Biocom Biophone. It came in an orange fiberglass case and was fully portable. It could transmit EKG and voice simultaneously, could be charged in 15 minutes, and had one hour of talking time. The radio had eight duplex UHF channels and a total of 12 watts of transmitting power. There were two Biophones used on the series, one smaller than the other.
In "Survival on Charter #220", Gage and DeSoto are briefly seen using a Motorola Apcor, with Dr. Early and Nurse McCall using a Motorola base station back at Rampart.
The electrocardiograph (ECG or EKG) machine used in the show was a Datascope Model 850 Dual Trace Physiological Monitor. This model came out in 1971 and was the first portable, battery rechargeable unit of its kind. Its original price was $2,000. In the middle of Season 4, the show switched to a Datascope MD/2, which was a combined monitor and defibrillator that allowed the monitor unit to slide out. The paramedics also carried some medical equipment in a black model "PF-3300" Old Pal tackle box, commonly used by the fire department at the time. There were instances when the actors encountered difficulty in pronouncing medical terms correctly, so some scenes show the characters from the back or behind a mask, which allowed them to dub in the correct pronunciations at a later time.
Many items of the equipment were donated to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in May 2000.
The protective clothing ("turn-out gear") that the firefighters wore, including the MSA Topgard helmets, as well as nearly all other equipment such as insignia, were standard fire department issue at the time.
The badges used in the series were authentic fire department badges. At the end of filming each day, they were collected, stored for safekeeping and then reissued the next day.
Impact on emergency medical services
An analysis of Emergency!'s influence on the rapid expansion of paramedic services must begin with the acknowledgement of the familiar adage that "correlation does not equal causation." ... However, ample evidence supports a conclusion that the TV show was a primary factor that fueled the legal changes that allowed paramedic services to develop and expand.
Paul Bergman, University of Baltimore Law Review, 2007
Prior to Emergency!, ambulances had been operating for decades in the United States. However, their crews rarely had training beyond basic first aid. Most states did not license them to perform more advanced medical treatment. The alternative was to staff ambulances with traditional healthcare professionals like doctors, which was expensive and posed recruitment challenges.
Writing in the University of Baltimore Law Review in 2007, Paul Bergman argued that Emergency! encouraged the growth of EMS. The conclusion is shared by Yokey and Sutherland in the book Emergency! Behind the Scenes. Bergman acknowledges that some of this trend had already been in motion, due to developments such as the 1966 report Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society and California's Wedworth-Townsend Act in 1970. In 1971, there were only 12 paramedic services operating in the United States. In the first three years that Emergency! aired, 46 out of 50 states enacted laws that allowed paramedics to practice. On a federal level, the 1974 Emergency Medical Services Systems Act was enacted to encourage the trend. By 1982, half the American population was within ten minutes' reach of a paramedic unit.
The show was referenced during a debate in the Health Committee of the California State Assembly, during the passage of a bill to make the Wedworth-Townsend Act permanent. A 1977 Newsweek article wrote that "[t]he television series Emergency! helped create a national demand for such services." In a 1993 paper, Byron K. Toma argued that it "helped convince the public that they are entitled to the highest levels of emergency medical aid technologically available."
In episode 17 of season 3, "Fools", Bobby Sherman plays an arrogant intern who shows disdain for John and Roy ... until he is sent out with them by Dr. Brackett to see exactly what they do. Sherman's character changes his mind quickly upon watching them take on a harrowing rescue. In real life, Sherman made a move from show business, and became an EMT. He worked with paramedics and taught CPR and first aid. He was promoted to the rank of captain by the Los Angeles Police Department, and served as a training officer for many years. Sherman credited his role on that episode of Emergency! as a guiding force in his choice of career change.
Spin-offs and crossovers
Emergency! was a third-generation spin-off, having been spawned from Jack Webb's Adam-12, which itself was spun off from Jack Webb's Dragnet. All three series take place in the same universe and depict different aspects of the public safety infrastructure of Los Angeles, California.
Characters from Emergency! and Adam-12 "crossed over" twice. The police officers appeared briefly in the pilot episode of Emergency!, and the firefighter/paramedics appeared in the Adam-12 episode titled "Lost and Found". Unusually, in the Emergency! episode titled "Hang-Up", there was a subplot in which the crew of Station 51 watched the television show Adam-12, despite supposedly sharing a fictional universe with those characters.
Emergency! spun off an animated version called Emergency +4 which ran on NBC Saturday mornings from 1973 to 1976, and featured four youngsters and their three pets who participated in rescue adventures with firefighter/paramedics DeSoto and Gage.
Mantooth's Gage and Tighe's DeSoto appeared in the tenth episode of Sierra, another Webb/Cinader production about a pair of National Park Servicerangers, which appeared for only a partial season in 1974. In that episode, "The Urban Ranger", the two paramedics participate in mountain rescue training and get involved in many of the episode's subplots. Following recurring themes from Emergency!, Gage continues to fail in his attempts to get a date, while DeSoto briefly considers changing careers to become a park ranger.
The "905-Wild" episode of Emergency!, broadcast during the closing of its Season 4 on Saturday March 1, 1975, was intended to be the pilot for a new series created and produced by Jack Webb. The series was to have been about the adventures of two Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control officers, and the staff of a county animal shelter. The episode featured Albert Popwell and Mark Harmon as the officers and David Huddleston and Gary Crosby in their supporting roles. However, it failed to sell and the follow-up series was never produced.
Squad 51 briefly appeared in the CHiPs episode "Cry Wolf" (season 1, ep. 18), where it can be seen responding from the station to a false accident report. Further in the episode "MAIT Team" (season 2, ep. 15), Engine 51 and Squad 51 can be seen responding from the station to a traffic accident. Again in the episode "Hot Wheels" (season 3, ep. 8) Squad 51 arrives on the scene of a traffic accident. It has a major role in the episode "E.M.T" when it responds to aid a young boy trapped in his clubhouse under a busy freeway, where California Highway Patrol officers Ponch and Jon retrieve equipment from the squad to aid in the rescue of the boy.
The episode "Cover Up" of Quincy, M.E. featured a paramedic team from Squad 44 contacting Rampart General Hospital while tending a heart attack patient, although the patient is directed to a closer hospital. When Dr. Quincy later visits Station 44 to question the paramedics concerning the patient's death, stock footage of the exterior of Station 51 is used. This episode was written by R.A. Cinader. Earlier, in the season 1 episode "Has Anyone Seen Quincy?" Harbor General Hospital is used as the filming location of the unnamed hospital seen throughout the episode. Rampart is again contacted in season 7's "The Golden Hour", but the patient is directed to a closer hospital, and Engine 51 responds to a hotel fire in the same season's episode "Smoke Screen".
Station 51 appears in the TV movie The Great Los Angeles Earthquake (1990), in a segment where all Los Angeles police and fire personnel are deployed to prepare for a massive Southern California earthquake. Stock footage from "Emergency!" is used.
Rampart Hospital is briefly mentioned in the 911 episode "Hen Begins" (season 2, ep. 9), where Hen is introduced to fellow peers who are struggling to fit into their roles.
From 1978 through 1979, the show returned as a series of "Movies of the Week". The TV movies premiered in this order:
The Steel Inferno: A fire breaks out in a skyscraper and the members of Squad 51 along with other LACoFD members help rescue those who are trapped. Personnel from Rampart General Hospital set up a triage area at the scene to care for the injured awaiting to be transported to the hospital. A Coast Guard helicopter helps firefighters with rooftop evacuations. This television movie was similar to Irwin Allen's The Towering Inferno (1974).
Survival on Charter #220: While Squad 51 is on a call, two planes collide with one landing in a Los Angeles subdivision, trapping Gage and DeSoto. A resident of the subdivision which was the site of the crash was the girlfriend of one of Squad 51's other paramedics from another shift. The on and off-duty firefighters make multiple rescues and the injured girl Squad 51 was originally dispatched to help turns out to be all right. During the rescue, however, an engine from one of the planes lands on the squad, rendering it out of commission due to the heavy damage it sustained.
Most Deadly Passage: The paramedics from Squad 51 travel to Seattle to watch how their paramedics treat patients and respond to calls for help. The most notable incident in the movie is the ferry that catches fire in the middle of a trip.
What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing?: Gage and DeSoto travel to San Francisco to observe some female paramedics work. A worker is rescued from the Golden Gate Bridge, an ambulance gets into an accident that ends up killing the patient being transported to the hospital, an epileptic in a coffee shop is treated along with someone having a heart attack at a dance bar. A pier at the Embarcadero catches on fire.
Greatest Rescues of "Emergency!": Gage and DeSoto are both promoted to the rank of captain. They think back to their time on Squad 51 and some of the rescues they carried out. Robert A. Cinader wrote and directed the framing story, which included clips from other such installments as the pilot, on whose writing Harold Jack Bloom had collaborated with Cinader.
The Convention: John and Roy are back in San Francisco for a paramedic convention and they ride along with the San Francisco Fire Department's paramedics.
The TV movies were shown in syndication as two-part episodes starting in the 1980s. They also aired on TV Land in 2001, on MeTV in June 2015, and on Cozi TV in late 2019.
The book Emergency!: Behind the Scenes by Richard Yokely and Rozane Sutherland was published in 2008.
Charlton Comics out of Derby, Connecticut, published several issues of an Emergency! comic book in the mid-1970s, geared towards youth readers. One of the issues contains some of the earliest published work of John Byrne. Charlton also published four issues of an illustrated black-and-white magazine geared more towards adult readers featuring art by Neal Adams and others, these projects were overseen by publisher Steve Kahn, in parallel with similar books for The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.
Power Records produced three original audio dramas based on Emergency!; these were released on a single 33 rpm LP. These were: "The Jaws of Life" (in which the title gadget proves its worth when Gage and DeSoto must rescue one man from a subway mishap and another from a burning car; they also help a woman shocked by a high-voltage power line; both are uneasy about supper this week, since Lopez is the designated chef at Station 51), "Front Page Story" (in which Gage and DeSoto, after rescuing an elderly man from a burning – and supposedly abandoned – wharf, must deal with investigative reporter Jenny James ... who's been instructed to write an exposé on Squad 51; she observes – and unwittingly complicates – their treatment of a blind teenage diabetic with a fractured skull, who might need on-the-spot surgery to save his life), and "The Used Car Caper" (in which our paramedics assist a security guard shot in a bank robbery, and then a young woman injured by a reckless driver; the latter call ties into the subplot, as DeSoto puts his old car up for sale ... and gets an offer from a fellow who's suspiciously eager to close the deal).
Milton Bradley released an Emergency! board game in 1973.
The series was first syndicated in 1976, after the fifth season. Local stations mainly aired it between 4:30 and 6 p.m. Eastern (3:30 to 5:00 Central) for the same viewers that were its most loyal audience on NBC, elementary school-aged children. However, Emergency! was not nearly as successful in reruns as Dragnet 1967–70 and Adam-12 were. When the program was first syndicated, it went by the title Emergency One! (the stock title "Emergency!" appeared with the word "One" fading in beneath) to avoid confusion with the new episodes still airing Saturday nights on NBC and continued to be called that when the TV movies aired as well. The syndicated episodes would revert to the original title, Emergency!, in 1979. Renaming programs for syndication was commonplace until the 1980s. Although in the early 2000s it had a brief run on TV Land, Emergency! had been rarely seen in recent times because the series had come under the ownership of the Jack Webb Estate. The show is now seen on Cozi TV.
Emergency! seasons 1 – 6 were available on Netflix on Demand in high definition (though several episodes are missing due to rights issues), having been restored and rescanned from the original film negatives. The series ran on MeTV from September 2013 to December 2016, an over-the-air service mainly seen on digital subchannels of local television stations. Starting in January 2017, the series moved to the NBC Universal owned digital broadcast network Cozi TV. As of May 2018, the series is not available streaming at all in the USA. It is only available for purchase on DVD in the US from Universal Studios Home Entertainment and through major retailers.
In 1998, Universal Studios released 39 episodes on VHS, in a 20-volume set, distributed through Columbia House. The videocassettes each contained 2 episodes from the series, except for the first one, which only contained the two-hour pilot.
Universal Studios has released all six seasons of Emergency! and the six post-series tele-films (as The Final Rescues), on DVD in Region 1.
On July 12, 2016, Universal released Emergency! – The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1. The 32-disc set contains all 122 episodes of the series as well as the 6 post-series tele-films.
In 2017–2018, Universal re-released the first two seasons on DVD in new single sided disc collections.
Note:Seasons 1 & 2 in the complete series set were released on single sided discs; they were originally released on double sided discs in the individual season sets.
|Season One||12||August 23, 2005|
May 9, 2017 (re-release)
|Season Two||21||February 7, 2006|
March 27, 2018 (re-release)
|Season Three||22||February 13, 2007|
|Season Four||22||January 29, 2008|
|Season Five||24||January 20, 2009|
|Season Six||24||April 13, 2010|
|The Final Rescues||6||March 29, 2011|
|The Complete Series||135||July 12, 2016|
Los Angeles County Fire Museum
The Los Angeles County Fire Museum currently houses the Universal-built Squad 51, both Engines 51 (the renumbered Crown LACoFD Engine 60 and the Ward-LaFrance-donated Engine 51), and various equipment used on the show. Such equipment includes: the orange "BioPhone", black "drug box" (tackle box), defibrillator, OB/GYN, radios, turnout coats, gear, various cast photographs, and other paraphernalia used on the show.
The museum, which relocated to 16400 Bellflower Blvd, Bellflower, California, USA (33.8842615N, 118.1259962W) in July, 2018, allows fans to photograph and (for special events) touch / handle the various equipment. Some of the equipment is signed by various actors from the show.
E51 Ward LaFrance
Squad 51 at the museum
- ^ abcdYokley, Richard; Sutherland, Roxane (2007). Emergency! Behind the Scenes. Jones & Bartlett Learning; 1 edition (July 13, 2007). ISBN .
- ^ abcdefghiBergman, Paul (Spring 2007). "EMERGENCY!: Send a TV Show to Rescue Paramedic Services!". University of Baltimore Law Review. 36 (3).
- ^ abReiner, Jonathan (15 May 2000). "Emergency! at the Smithsonian". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- ^ abAmes, Denise (12 December 2013). "One-on-One with Randolph Mantooth". The Tolucan Times. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- ^"Sam Lanier." Sam Lanier. Emergency Fans, 2004. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
- ^"Robert A. Cinader". Historical Marker Database. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
- ^"Virtual Museum EMS History." 1969-Los Angeles Area Paramedic Programs. Np, 31 July 2011. Web. 14 Oct. 2014.
- ^ abcd"Q & A with Randolph Mantooth". route51.com. 1 February 2014. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- ^"Randolph Mantooth" (Interview). Interviewed by Tom Blixa. Columbus, Ohio: WTVN. 23 May 2013. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
- ^"EMS Isn't a Right ... It's a Privilege." Randolph Mantooth. Nickel One Productions, 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
- ^Los Angeles County Fire Station 51Archived 2009-02-08 at the Wayback Machine
- ^Richard Yokley; Rozane Sutherland (2007), "Rampart Hospital", Emergency!: Behind the Scene, ISBN , retrieved 2013-10-31
- ^"HUMC – Celebrating 50 Years of Caring". Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- ^"CrowdRx – Rampart Mobile Emergency Room". Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- ^"County Of Los Angeles Fire Museum's Squad 51". Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- ^ ab Visit the County Of Los Angeles Fire Museum
- ^"Emergency! TV Show Equipment And Filming Locations". Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- ^"County Of Los Angeles Fire Museum's Engine 51Crown". Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- ^ abEmergency!. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- ^"Fire Engines Page 1". Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- ^"Engine 51 Restoration". LA County Fire Museum, Inc. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
- ^"County Of Los Angeles Fire Museum's Engine 51 Ward LaFrance". Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- ^ abRichard Yokley, Rozane Sutherland (2007), "Rampart Hospital", Emergency!: Behind the Scene; ISBN 978-0-7637-4896-8
- ^""Emergency!" The Old Engine Cram (TV Episode 1975)". IMDb. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- ^ abYokley, Richard C.; Sutherland, Rozane (15 July 2007). Emergency!: Behind the Scene. Jones & Bartlett Learning. pp. 117–. ISBN . Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- ^Archived July 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- ^Clafma.orgArchived February 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- ^Interim Hearing on Emergency Medical Services, 1972 Leg., 1972 Reg. Sess. 23 (Cal. 1972).
- ^Peter Bonventre et al., "It's an Emergency", Newsweek, Nov. 21, 1977, p. 105.
- ^Toma, Byron (1993). "The Decline of Emergency Medical Services Coordination in California: Why Cities Are at War With Counties Over Illusory Ambulance Monopolies". Southwestern University Law Review.
- ^"Sierra X-Over", Emergencyfans.com. Accessed August 24, 2007.
- ^Gordon Burnett (20 June 2013). "The Great Los Angeles Earthquake 1990)" – via YouTube.
- ^"Emergency: The Final Rescues (The Steel Inferno, Survival on Charter #220, Greatest Rescues of Emergency!, More)." DVD Talk. DVD Talk, 29 Mar. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.
- ^"Emergency! – June 1976 – December 1976". Grand Comics Database Project. comics.org. Retrieved Feb 8, 2008.
- ^"Emergency! – July 1976 – January 1977". Grand Comics Database Project. comics.org. Retrieved Feb 8, 2008.
- ^"Universal Studios Home Entertainment Web Store". Emergency: The Complete Series. Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- ^"Emergency! DVD news: Announcement for Emergency – The Final Rescues". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- ^Watch Out, Guys ... Universal is Creating a Complete 'Emergency!' **UPDATED**Archived 2016-06-05 at the Wayback Machine
- ^"TVShowsOnDVD.com – Goodbye". www.tvshowsondvd.com.[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Emergency!.|
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