#AtoZchallenge: History of Paramedicine – E is for Emergency! (Updated)

Any of you folks out there watch the show “Shipping Wars” on A&E??   As Jerrrid would say, I’m definitely having an ohhhh *bleep* moment here….  As in Ohhh *bleep* what have I gotten myself into.  Here I am frantically trying to get caught up (being like 4 days behind – letter D having been “due” last Thursday and letter E on Saturday.).


Those who know me know that one of the biggest interests is in the area of Fire/EMS (though I am not, myself a Firefighter or an EMT/Paramedic).  I decided this year to do my A-Z Challenge using the theme “History of Paramedicine….

What would a series on the History of Paramedicine be without  the mention of one of the greatest shows out there (in relation to EMS).  I’m talking, of course, about the show Emergency! (with Roy DeSoto and the infamous Johnny Gage).  A good number of people in the Fire and EMS fields attribute their early interest in said field to watching Emergency!   I won’t say that Emergency! didn’t have its moments of using “Hollywood” Drama in order to entice people to watch the show, but it was the goal of the producers that the show be as true-to-life and accurate as possible.

Emergency! ran in the early 1970’s when paramedicine was still in it’s infancy.  In many ways, it is through this show that public awareness of 9-1-1 and the Emergency Medical Services came about.

When the show first aired in 1972 there were only 6 Paramedic Units (in 3 Pilot Programs) throughout the U.S.    At the show’s end in 1979 there were Paramedic programs operating in all 50 states.

An excellent “Behind the Scenes” book to read is Emergency: Behind the Scenes, which has a wealth of information about the show.

Did you know that James O. Page, the Technical Advisor for the show was himself considered the “Father of Modern Paramedicine and was the founding publisher of JEMS; Or, that at least one (perhaps a couple) of the firefighters in the show were in fact actual firefighters in real life.


The National EMS Museum has some great resources on the history of Paramedicine.  I highly recommend you go check out their website.


Seeing as I skipped  out on listing 5 blogs to check out on letter C  I’m listing 7 here:
Wavy Lines (One Writers Zig-Zagging Journey)
The ShellShank Redemption (A Writer Comes Out of Her Shell)

8 thoughts on “#AtoZchallenge: History of Paramedicine – E is for Emergency! (Updated)

  1. Stopping by on the 7th day of the #Challenge. Congratulations on a well presented blog. Know you are going to make new blogging friends. If you have time or interest, I am writing about gardening and related topics this month. Stop by.


  2. I just found your blog on twitter! I can’t wait to go back and read your earlier posts. I was an EMT for a few years before I became a 911 dispatcher. I remember watching “Emergency” and was in love with Johnny! I’m going to check out that book you mentioned… I bet it’s a good read!


    • I actually have the book myself… It’s excellent. I have to admit to having a crush on Johnny when I was younger…. Now, of course that has been replaced with a lot of respect for the actor Randy Mantooth.


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