Do any of these sayings ring a bell? “Squad 51, this is Rampart.” “Administer two amps Sodium Bicarb.” “Station 51, KMG365.” If so, you were probably a fan of the TV show Emergency.
Emergency was an hour long drama that featured two paramedics, John Cage (Randy Mantooth) and Roy DeSoto (Kevin Tighe). It began on January 15, 1972 and ran for six years. FYI, the number one song the day Emergency debuted was American Pie by Don McLean. I love that song. Maybe I’ll write a blog about that song one day. The 70’s were awesome.
I remember writing in my diary about Emergency. I used to watch it on Saturday nights with my big sister, Lori. The two main characters on that show were so cool. They would travel around in their little red Tonka truck and save people. They had one of the earliest cell phones known to man that they carried around in an orange box. (It was actually a 3502 Biocom Biophone.) My sister Lori liked Randy Mantooth so I did too. I remember how we used to hang out at our local grocery store (Alpha Beta) because one of the bag boys looked like Kevin Tighe. He wasn’t even a Randy Mantooth look-a-like, but we totally stalked that poor guy.
The show was credited with saving lives. There were lots of reports about children saving people because of things they saw on the show. Cool.
Squad 51 responded to an accident on the TV show CHiPs. They showed the truck pulling out of the 51 Stationhouse. (It was extra cool because Emergency! had been canceled by that point.)
Station 51 was actually Station 127 in Carson, California.
Emergency! was a spin-off of a spin-off. Emergency! was a spin-off of Adam-12 which was a spin-off of Dragnet.
Bobby Troup and Julie London were real life husband and wife. They had been married since 1959.
The actor who drove the fire truck was actually a firefighter who happened to have a SAG card.
Julie London, Bobby Troup, and Robert Fuller were all good friends before the show began.
John Cage was based on real life fireman Jim Page who helped create the paramedic program for LAFD. Randy Mantooth spoke at his funeral in 2004.
Randy Mantooth and Kevin Tighe took paramedic training to prepare for their role on the show. With the exception of the written exam, they were actually fully qualified to be L.A. paramedics. I would like mouth to mouth from Randy, please.
The show is credited for encouraging many people to grow up and become paramedics. I know two such people. They both had/have a crush on Randy Mantooth.
Dick Van Patten
Dawn Lyn Garrett
All six seasons have been released on DVD. I may have to mosey on over to eBay and see about purchasing them. I could justify the purchase by doing it in my big sister Lori’s honor. She would want me to own them. 🙂 Off to eBay I go……