The core cast of Emergency! note Emergency!
is the first TV show to show the lives of paramedics. This was a very well-done and medically accurate show which inspired countless children to want to be in Squad 51, and supposedly many communities to get their own paramedics. An hour-long drama, it had elements of comedy, drama, angst, and many other things in its episodes, and though it had a shorter run, could be said to be a domestic version of one of the best shows ever in the field, M*A*S*H
. It was also responsible for popularizing nationwide the concept of paramedics. One technical advisor to the show
went on to overhaul another EMS system
two decades later.
The origin of the show was when TV producer Robert A. Cinader came to Los Angeles to look into creating a standard Medical Drama
. Once there, he learned of the paramedic program, which was just getting started, and realized it was a dynamite idea to create a show based around these brave special firefighters rushing about rescuing people. Executive producer Jack Webb of Dragnet
fame added his trademark strict attention to accuracy and the first and most famous live-action Rescue
TV show was born.
Even today, the show inspires many, many people to become EMTs and paramedics. It's a fair bet that any EMT/paramedic in the U.S. who started work between 1979 and 1995 was inspired by this show either in its first run or reruns.
Followed/accompanied — as was virtually standard practice in the 1970s — by a comic book series and an animated
Saturday morning series, Emergency +4
, in which the Emergency
paramedics were saddled with the requisite four kids and dog. After the live-action show ended, six made-for-TV movies aired in the late '70s; Gage and DeSoto were the only regular characters to appear in all six films.
Currently airing reruns on MeTV
, an over-the-air network that is usually on the .2 signal of a network affiliate (Example: KAKE Ch. 10.2 in Wichita, Kansas.). It's also available on Netflix
, as well as NBC's classic television webpage.
Emergency! provides examples of the following tropes: