Hawaii 5-O , Will and Grace and other TV shows have made comebacks. Is it time for Emergency! to be rebooted? What would it look like? Who would be the stars? Would the stars be unknown or well known? All good questions. Then the last question is why remake the classic show, which lots of us love and entered into the profession.
It is because of Emergency!, I am a paramedic today. As a lost freshman in college and lost QPA, I had no direction until my dad’s heart attack. This is when he introduced me to his hospital tech who was an EMT in a volunteer ambulance service. When my dad met him and found out what he did outside the hospital, my dad said to him that my son loved that show Emergency!. It was done deal after that for me. I have not looked back for almost 37 years. So I am mixed about a reboot, but I would watch.
The original show aired as midseason replacement in January 1972 (do you know what shows it replaced? I don’t) to May 1977. A few made for TV movies were added to the mix. For those who are not familiar, Jack Webb from Dragnet and Adam 12 fame and RA Cinader created the show. The great James Page also played a key role with the production. The show had such an impact that some of the show’s equipment made it to the Smithsonian. Another good question who was Governor when paramedics were give the right to practice in California? This was base of the pilot, which was 2 hours (Answer at the end).
Let’s start with the last question first. A reboot may do what the original show did; it became a great recruiting tool for EMS and fire departments. Lots of EMS careers were started when this show aired. I wanted to be Johnny and Roy. They defied death performing rescues from swimming pools, cars, bathtubs, highrises and water towers. It was great when they defibrillated their patient at 400 joules and Sinus Rhythm appeared. Listen EMS could use a platform for recruiting besides signing bonuses.
Now let’s have some fun. The show would still be 60 minutes and still based in LA County at the same station in Carson City. Zac Efron from Disney movies would be in the Johhny role and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston as Roy. Dennis Quaid would be the Captain and Kevin Hart would be Chet Kelly. Denzel Washington, who has played a doctor before would lead Rampart’s Emergency Room. I would bring back Kent McCord (Adam 12) to be our favorite Neurologist and moonlighting ER doctor. Julia Roberts would be Dixie. Who would like to see in a reboot?
I was lucky to have Randolph Mantooth as a guest on my podcast (link to his podcast). It was a dream come true. We talked about the show, Kevin and EMS today. By the way President Reagan was the Governor who signed the act. The show had a big impact on my career and I would like to see it rebooted with me as a the technical advisor.