Emergency aired from January 1972 until September 1977 on NBC.
When this series was introduced as a midseason replacement for The Partners and The Good Life, few people would have predicted that it could withstand the competition from CBS's All In The Family. Emergency lasted, however because it appealed to a different audience; for several seasons it was the most popular prime-time program among viewers aged two to eleven. Done in the semi-documentary style for which Jack Webb ( who was an executive-producer) had become famous with Dragnet, Emergency followed the efforts of Squad 51 of The Los Angeles County Fire Department's Paramedical Rescue Service. Paramedics Desoto and Gage ( Kevin Tighe, Randolph Mantooth ), were usually at the center of the action, while the emergency staff of Rampart Hospital provided backup assistance. Each telecast depicted several interwoven incidents, some humorous, some touching, some tragic. A typical night's work might have the paramedics called on to help an overweight woman who was having trouble breathing because her girdle was to tight, or aiding a maintenance worker who had broken his back in a 100 foot fall from a smokestack he was painting. Another night they might be saving children trapped in an abandoned building when a wrecking crew began demolishing the place, or rescuing a woman parachutist who had gotten caught in a tree. One of the specialties of the paramedics, in fact seemed to be saving " danglars"-people trapped in precarious positions because of faulty rigging, collapsing scaffolding, or the like. Others on the hospital staff was Robert Fuller as Dr. Kelly Brackett and Julie London as Head Nurse Dixie McCall. Former bandleader Bobby Troup, who played neurosurgeon Joe Early was in real life married to Julie London ( she had previously been married to producer Jack Webb). Squad 51's mascot was a dog named Boots, succeeded by Henry (named after the squad's captain) in 1978. Although Emergency ended its run as a series in 1977, special 2-hour movie versions, newly filmed, were periodically aired during the following season.
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