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This series features the adventures of the paramedics of Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Station 51, John Gage and Roy Desoto. Together they respond to emergencies ranging from false alarms to major disasters.
As at this time, the Paramedic program, which is designed to keep emergency patients alive long enough to get to medical facilities, is still a relatively recent service, the paramedics must be guided by licensed medical personnel through radio contact on site. This is where the staff of Rampart Hospital come in with doctors Brackett and Early as well as Head Nurse McCall providing the necessary instructions for the paramedics to do their jobs. In addition to that, we see the work of the medical staff on their own as deal with the medical problems they encounter.
Written by Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
The creators of Emergency! tried to accurately portray the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) by using apparatus and equipment in current use. 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. The extensive cooperation of the LACoFD is repeatedly apparent in the program.
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 1973 "Crenshaw Fire" brush fire on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
The exterior fire station scenes were shot at Station 127 in Carson and the hospital exterior scenes were shot at Harbor General Hospital. The interior scenes, for both hospital and fire, were shot on Universal's sound stages.
Yokley and Sutherland argue that the TV show led many municipalities to create paramedic units of their own. When the show premiered in 1972, there were only 12 such units in North America; by 1982, more than half of all Americans were within ten minutes of a paramedic rescue or ambulance unit.
The program introduced many in its worldwide audience to the concepts of pre-hospital care, fire prevention and CPR. The program was also credited for demonstrating first aid techniques that enabled some viewers to save lives in real medical emergencies.
When the medical community saw that the general public were using First Aid and CPR in response to this show, they started the teaching programs for CPR in every state.
The show later added a disclaimer stating that the first aid techniques demonstrated should only be performed by trained persons. In the episode "Grateful", one character's chest is injured when another character incorrectly performs a precordial thump, a procedure sometimes performed by Gage or DeSoto.
Now showing at MeTV and worth watching.