Critical Rescue

Watch Critical Rescue

  • 2003
  • 1 Season
  • 5.5  (17)

Critical Rescue was a riveting reality TV show chronicling the heroic work of first responders in the United States of America. Launched in 2003, the show was produced by Content Media Corporation and featured Jim Cissell, Rick Hatfield, and Scott Hoelz as the primary cast members.

Over its three-year run, Critical Rescue captured the action-packed lives of paramedics, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians as they fought against the clock to save lives in the face of daunting challenges. The show gave viewers a glimpse into the world of emergency response, showing them what it takes to be a first responder and the sheer bravery, skill, and expertise required to do the job.

Each hour-long episode of the show was dedicated to a particular region across the USA, featuring stories from incidents that had occurred in that area over a period of a few months. The show was filmed with multiple cameras, giving viewers a front-row seat to the action as it happened. Shots of paramedics jumping out of ambulances, firefighters battling blazes, and EMTs administering life-saving treatment to patients were interspersed with interviews of the cast members and those who were involved in the rescue missions.

Through its fast-paced storytelling, Critical Rescue showcased dramatic, real-life situations that kept viewers on the edge of their seats. The show highlighted the various emergency situations that first responders have to deal with, ranging from everyday incidents such as traffic accidents and heart attacks to more unusual scenarios like water rescue operations, high-angle rescues, and even large-scale disasters like hurricanes and mass-casualty incidents.

The show also explored the human side of emergency response, showing how responders often have to deal with the emotional fallout of their job. They discussed the impact it can have on their mental health and the stresses they experience while working long hours with limited breaks. This gave viewers an insight into the personal struggles of these brave men and women who dedicate their lives to saving others.

The cast of the show, Jim Cissell, Rick Hatfield, and Scott Hoelz, were all seasoned first responders who brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the show. Cissell, a paramedic, was responsible for air medical transportation, overseeing the safe transfer of patients who required urgent medical attention. Hatfield was a firefighter with over 35 years of experience, while Hoelz was an EMT and a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie.

Collectively, the cast members brought different perspectives to the show, providing a well-rounded view of the emergency response world. The three of them worked together to showcase how the different branches of emergency services collaborate to handle incidents, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and communication.

In conclusion, Critical Rescue was an edge-of-your-seat reality show that chronicled the heroic work of first responders across the United States. With its riveting storytelling and high-octane action, the show gave viewers a glimpse into the world of emergency response and the sheer bravery and expertise needed to do the job. Although it ended in 2006, it remains a cult favorite for those wanting to get an authentic view of the day-to-day life of a first responder.

Critical Rescue is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (13 episodes). The series first aired on February 6, 2003.

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13. Firestorm
May 1, 2003
Thousands are trapped in their hillside homes when a two-square mile fire ravages Oakland, California. With only narrow winding roads leading into the area, firefighters struggle to reach the blaze.
Swept Away
12. Swept Away
April 24, 2003
One of the worst nights of flooding in Texas history calls for an Emergency Rescue Team armed with Zodiac boats and helicopters to save multiple lives.
Camilles Wrath
11. Camilles Wrath
April 17, 2003
A hurricane party is in full swing when the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. strikes a Gulf Coast apartment complex, smashing every unit into pieces.
10. Trapped
April 10, 2003
A deadly fire deep within a mine in Idaho leaves two young miners trapped, and sends rescuers scrambling to get to the men before the poisonous fumes and intense temperatures do.
Heroes On the Potomac
9. Heroes On the Potomac
April 3, 2003
A 737 stalls upon takeoff, smashing into a nearby highway overpass; police and helicopter rescue units, as well as passing motorists, attempt to pull victims from the icy river.
Thin Ice
8. Thin Ice
March 27, 2003
Rhode Island fire and rescue teams are all that stand between certain death and two boys trapped somewhere below the surface of a frozen pond.
7. F-5
March 20, 2003
A killer tornado speeds towards an Oklahoma town, minutes later the storm is gone, but a path of destruction and countless victims remain.
6. Submerged
March 13, 2003
A car flips and crashes into an icy river, leaving one passenger submerged in the freezing water. A Vermont First Response Team has only seconds to react.
When Seconds Count
5. When Seconds Count
March 6, 2003
When a highly flammable grain elevator ignites, the explosions and fires produced are so intense, only FEMA's Urban Search & Rescue team can handle the disaster.
Race Against Time
4. Race Against Time
February 27, 2003
Rescue workers and physicians must stabilize ands airlift the victims of a balcony collapse, after hundreds plummet during a holiday party.
Buried Alive
3. Buried Alive
February 20, 2003
An Advanced Rescue Team races against the clock to pull two construction workers from the concrete rubble and rising water of a trench collapse.
Fateful Journey
2. Fateful Journey
February 13, 2003
Hundreds of emergency personnel, aided by passing motorists, respond to the worst passenger train collision in California history.
Ominous Warning
1. Ominous Warning
February 6, 2003
A San Francisco earthquake traps a woman in her home, encasing her in collapsed debris. Fireman battle raging fires and explosions as they race to her.
Where to Watch Critical Rescue
Critical Rescue is available for streaming on the Content Media Corporation website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Critical Rescue on demand at and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    February 6, 2003
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (17)