I know that stupid phrasing gets thrown around often; usually to the chagrin of the word important. But this show truly was important.

It was Janurary of 1972, and a little show named Emergency! made it’s debut on NBC. Created by the masterminds of Jack Webb (Adam-12, Dragnet, Mark VII Limited), and Robert Cinader, the show followed the lives of firemen/paramedics John Gage and Roy DeSoto on their adventures through LA County in Squad 51. The show ran until May 28th of 1977, with six television movies to it’s credit.

To the layman, this seems unimportant. But let me give you an idea of how much this show did for the US. Let’s say, for a moment, that you lived in a small community somewhere in the Midwest in the 1970’s. One day, you’re at home with mum when she suddenly has a heart attack. Right there, in front of you. First and foremost, the general populace at large doesn’t know the signs of a heart attack. In this timeframe, medicine was only something you really considered when you saw your doctor for your physical. It was still somewhat taboo to really talk about injuries and the like. Regardless, you’ve at least witnessed dear old mum pass out, and you call 9-1-1 instinctively. You reach an emergency dispatcher and tell them your mother’s fainted, and you need help immediately. You’ll get that help, right?

Wrong. The dispatcher gives you the number to a company that will send you an ambulance: a private, for-hire company. And when that ambulance arrives? They will likely do very little life-saving interventions for your loved one. In that timeframe, you really didn’t even need first-aid to get on an ambulance; just a really nice set of white clothes and a hearse or a dedicated unit to put lights on and go woo-woo. You did very little in the back to help that patient, other than watch them and reassure them that you’d be at the hospital…soon.

The ambulance that you take for granted now was nothing like the ambulances of 40 years ago. We have evolved as EMS providers; we are able to actually save lives. This show followed only 1 of 10 (that’s right TEN) paramedic/EMS services working in the United States. Let me repeat that: ONE OF TEN SERVICES THAT ACTUALLY HAD EMS IN THE UNITED STATES. This show, which ran a new episode roughly once a month for six years, actually showcased the good that these services were doing. It brought national recognition to the need for better equipped EMS services.

The show also was accredited for being the first show to demonstrate real CPR to the United States; something that was still in it’s infancy, and which we now stress is a necessary way to save someone’s life the sooner they get it when they need it. In the show, you’ll see times when people literally are confused as to why a fire unit shows up to their home, and even tell Johnny and Roy that they don’t need firemen, they need a doctor. Now, we simply call 9-1-1 and when the ambulance shows up, trust blindly that they’ll help.

THIS SHOW WAS SO IMPORTANT. It was the start of America’s recognition into Emergency Medical Services. It was a turning point in the country to demonstrate that early, life-saving interventions could help people in their time of need; the self-same services that are simply taken for granted now.

And the show didn’t just do fire and EMS, either! It showed what it’s truly like to work in a hospital. The show also followed nurse Dixie McCall, doctor Kelley Brackett, and doctor Joe Early after the paramedic duo would bring them a patient. Yes, like most shows of the era, it was very melodramatic…but it did showcase what most of your EMS and hospital providers (and to a lesser extent, firemen) go through on their tours of duty.

The next time you’re bored, I highly stress you to watch this show. Remember the reasons that persons like myself are on ambulances, accepting crappy pay and little recognition. See why we put ourselves in a little slice of hell and remember that we’re not all douchebags.

Thank you.

anonymous asked:

It has occurred to me several times while watching Emergency that it would make a great drinking game. Of course since it's a family show you could use your family-rated beverage of choice (mine would be mountain dew). I don't know if anyone has ever done one for the show, but you could use whenever the phantom strikes, whenever Johnny says "shut up Chet", whenever Cap says "twit" or "pal" (I love when he calls someone pal!). What do you think?

Actually, yes, it does! Not that I’ve…played it…or anything…but uhm YES Grab a cuppa your favourite drink (alcoholic or non) and take a sip every time the boys go on a call,

and something crazy happens,

or when you see the green pen,

or when Johnny trips over his words,

or when the Cap makes a snarky remark,

or when Doctor Brackett gets in Dixie’s personal space,

or when Doctor Brackett yells at somebody,

or when Brice acts like a dick,

or when Johnny sniffs something,

or when anybody looks extremely sexy for no apparent reason,

or when Johnny acts like an idiot in front of a girl and/or gets shot down,

or when Johnny derps,

or when Johnny and Roy do something slashy,

or when Doctors Brackett and Early do something slashy,

or when butts. ’nuffsaid.

(or when Johnny has food in his mouth, or when Johnny and Roy touch each other, or when Johnny smiles with only half of his face, or when Chet sets something on fire…or if you REALLY want to get drunk, whenever Johnny and/or Roy have a phone pressed to their face…oh man. The list goes on. I could probably continue this for ten pages, but I won’t, cos this is already SUPER long D: ) Anyway, if you’re drinking an alcoholic beverage, you’ll be sixteen sheets to the wind in no time! If you’re drinking Mountain Dew (good choice, too, that’s my favourite soft drink), you’ll be more than-a-little-too-hyped-up-on-sugar. Very fun for the parents.

(And remember this before you operate any heavy machinery: Johnny and Roy can’t come to your rescue if you screw shit up and hurt yourself, so there’s really no point in drinking irresponsibly!)

 Happy Drinking! Just be sure to give me your keys first. XD