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The 1970's saw an evolution in television production with the types of shows that could be seen. The shows that could now be found on the television were of a more realistic nature that offered more realistic glimpses into some of the more noble occupations such as the medical field. However, many aspects of the fields were explored for observation as opposed to simply showing a one dimensional side. One series that did this in a very realistic and fairly accurate way was 'Emergency.'

A large part of what made 'Emergency' such a successful series, as evidenced by its long run of seven seasons, was that the series offered viewers a chance to see what those in the rescue and medical fields dealt with on a consistent basis and did so with a realistic take. Aside for the reality of the series there were also dramatic and even some comedic aspects that were tied in by offering a more human aspect into the characters' personal lives and the effects of the stresses on their chosen professions. Although there may be other series that followed that offered this type of formula, 'Emergency' was the first one to break that barrier.

The premise and plot of 'Emergency', although a simple one, was brilliant. Every week we tuned in to watch the Los Angeles Fire Department, Station 51, most especially the paramedic and rescue units as they performed their jobs. What gave the show such a unique aspect was that the story didn't simply end when the patient was brought to the doors of the emergency room, it continued as the patient was put into the capable hands of the Los Angeles Rampart Hospital's medical staff. The story would center around the patient's and their conditions and we learned the reasons why the condition occurred and what it would take to correct it as well as how these two groups of medical professionals pull together to help the public.

Emergency! is a series that is currently running and has 6 seasons (123 episodes). The series first aired on January 22, 1972.

Emergency! is available for streaming on the website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Emergency! on demand atGoogle Play online.

Thursday 7:30 PM et/pt on NBC Universal
6 Seasons, 123 Episodes
January 22, 1972
Cast: Robert Fuller, Julie London, Bobby Troup, Randolph Mantooth, Kevin Tighe
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Emergency! Full Episode Guide

  • Roy and Johnny treat a singer suffering chest pains. The station responds to a night time auto accident and a daredevil attempting a tight walk between two buildings who has become trapped. Johnny tries to write a game show.

  • The widow of a firefighter constantly calls for help with matters that aren't emergencies to anyone but her. But when the woman's daughter is injured in a bad fall, the rescue workers quickly realize that she has a real emergency on her hands.

  • Roy is gearing up for a much-needed vacation, and everyone has suggestions for where he should go. But Roy's holiday and health could be in jeopardy when he gets lightheaded during a fire at a singles' club. Linda Gray guest stars.

  • A homeless man is trapped in a burning building, and John and Roy rescue him in the nick of time. Even though he doesn't appear to have a penny to his name, the grateful man presents the guys with a gift they never could have expected.

  • John goes underground when two workers are seriously injured in a tunnel. In the midst of the rescue, a cave-in traps John in the tunnel, too. Now, it's a race against time as Roy tries to save John and the injured men before their oxygen runs out.

  • Roy dreads his mother-in-law's impending visit. Firemen must respond to a fire at... Rampart Emergency Hospital! A model rocket sets an attic on fire, endangering two kids and then Chet when he tries to rescue them. A quack nostrum gives a man lead poisoning, and doctors Brackett and Early argue over a medical convention in a very nice spot!

  • An intermittent electrical problem periodically kills the power in the squad. Armed with a manual, Roy and Johnny set out to fix it, figuring it can't be that hard. A naturalist couple comes to Rampart with a version of anthrax. The paramedics rescue a man from an amusement part ride.

  • Captain Stanley begins to worry when he learns one of his past captains is now his battalion chief, and his unfortunate mood proves contagious. Paramedics rescue a man whose car hits a truck carrying pesticides and a man shot in the chest by nail gun. The entire station tries to end a fight at an ice skating rink, and Marco is endangered by electricity and fire at a gas station.

  • No one ever said being a paramedic in Los Angeles was easy. But when a foolish law prevents John and Roy from driving outside their zone, the two find it nearly impossible to provide prompt emergency care to those who need it most.

  • Doctor Brackett has a car accident that costs the other driver his life, and leaves that victim's daughter mute; the doctor's compassion leads him to blame himself. Later, the squad's fanbelt breaks, and when they pull over to repair it, Johnny and Roy become involved in a shootout, and eventually must treat a policeman with heart problems. Fire breaks out on a pier, and a boxcar full of ammonia makes fighting it far more dangerous.

  • Chet and Marko face the unpleasant task of correcting a filing problem caused by a computer error. A new supply system at Rampart still needs work, and the nurse in charge causes problems for the paramedics. A kid nearly drowns in a storm drain, a janitor drinks some *very old* wine and firemen respond to a warehouse blaze.

  • Johnny and Roy plan a fishing trip to Santa Rosa, but stranded climbers and a boat explosion delay them. Finally arriving, they offer their ideas to the local sheriff when he expresses interest in adding emergency medical services to his jurisdiction.

  • Gage gets a windfall: a paycheck for thousands of dollars! It's a computer error, of course, but frustration mounts has he tries to put it right. A vagrant falls asleep in a junked car - and finds himself in a car crusher! Johnny and Roy face problems trying to help a man with back problems - from the man's dog! Firefighters must retrieve two injured men from a scaffold.

  • Roy and John are thrilled when they are invited to join the paramedic advisory committee. But their excitement quickly fades when they're forced to deal with Craig Brice, an annoying paramedic and fellow committee member.

  • Roy gets dizzy following a fire in a nightclub. Paramedics help an instructor injured while teaching self-defense and a pair of hang glider pilots following an unfortunate encounter with a cliff. As Roy's vacation draws near, the station becomes crowded with people offering destination advice.

  • The strict and unpopular Capt. Hookrader is on the verge of retirement, and the guys can't wait to see him go. The firefighters plan an elaborate farewell dinner that's actually a celebration of the captain's imminent departure.

  • Roy and Johnny draw what might be an envious assignment: to provide medical coverage for a football game. But they're too busy with a choking victim, a man with breathing problems, an announcer who has a heart attack and a photographer. The also help a man trapped in a tree.

  • A woman passed out in a bar is suffering from more than drunkenness. Johnny becomes the victim of a hit and run accident and is a terrible patient. Worse, his replacement Brice annoys everyone at the station. The paramedics help a heart patient and fight a fire in an abandoned building where Roy, Brice, and Marko are trapped.

  • Roy and Johnny rescue a diver. Rampart treats a boy who got a severe stomach ache from eating raw dough, while the paramedics rescue a diver from a tank, and treat a mother/daughter pair: the mother has a heart attack and the stress causes her daughter to go into labor. A fallen electrical wire nearly ends Captain Stanley's career.

  • After paramedics rescue Grant and Robin Elder, they attach themselves to the station to help out, but soon wear out their welcome. A car goes right through a restaurant window, and in a scene straight out of A Christmas Story a BB injures a child's eye. While returning from a false alarm, Johnny and Roy rescue people endangered by a boat fire.

  • Fourteen year old Nancy Benedict's father pushes her hard, wanting her to achieve Olympic fame - but a bad fall from the balance beam might crush those hopes. Paramedics rescue a girl suspended by wires and free a drunk driver trapped in a car. A train fire involving explosive ammonium nitrate endangers the firefighters.

  • Johnny and Roy rescue a father and son from their overturned camper. The father's injuries will confine him to the hospital for longer than the boy's, so Roy takes the lad in. That's a mistake'; the child's a monster who tears up Roy's home and harms his neighborhood reputation. Brackett rides along in an air ambulance, and Early treats a boy with spinal meningitis.

  • Roy ponders whether to buy a house. The paramedics help a pair of kids trapped in a burning home, a pair of driving students involved in an accident and an epileptic boy trapped on a bridge. They also stay behind to look for a dog who belongs to a boy injuring in a car accident.

  • A documentary crew follows the paramedics as they rescue a teen-aged snakebite victim, help a dangling stuntman, retrieve a boy who fell off a cliff and rescue a driver from a truck fire.

  • Johnny and Chet manage to destroy the station's television, irking the other firefighters. Paramedics rescue a man from a manhole fire. At Rampart, Dr. Morton helps a man with a bleeding ulcer, while Dr. Brackett goes from physician to patient when he has a bad reaction to a catfish bite. A man carelessly glues his own eyes shut, and a mudslide traps Johnny and Roy with the man they came to rescue.

  • The paramedics help a couple on their way to a wedding who meet a fire hydrant first, and rescue a child from the back of a burning camper whose driver brings it to them! A truck full of a dangerous insecticide overturns, and there's trouble for Roy, who may have struck a pedestrian en route to a rescue.

  • Paramedics respond to a two car accident, treat a man who fell while bathing, rescue a child trapped in a burning structure and help a drunk in a hotel without a working elevator. The doctors deal with a child who has meningitis. A woman's stomach problems nearly lead to mayhem in her family.

  • Once again, the others rib Johnny about his cooking, so he sets out to prove he can make a fine meal - and of course gets interrupted and the meal ruined. But he and a doctor treat a diver suffering pressure injuries using a decompression chamber. He and Roy also deal with a famous chef who refuses to admit he accidentally set his own kitchen on fire. A dust explosion and a gunshot wound finish out the story.

  • Station 51 receives a new trainee: Karen Overstreet, who is determined to prove a woman can do the paramedic's job. A man tries to gas himself, and then changes his mind. During a house fire, Roy tries to save an invalid, and nearly dies when broken wires send electricity through his body. Fortunately for him, trainee Overstreet knows how to use a defibrillator!

  • It's bad news for the station as both Roy and Chet are injured - Chet by an explosion and Roy in a warehouse fire. The paramedics treat a boy who fell out of a tree, and Rampart General treats a tree surgeon. Johnny catches some overtime with Squad 8, where the lack of equipment proves fatal to a heart attack victim.

  • John and Roy may finally have found someone to buy their antique fire engine. The squad helps a man who injures his back riding his motorcycle, a man who walks into the station and collapses, and a man who has fallen off a cliff. They also have to help one of their own when a firefighting practice session goes badly and volatile chemicals splash a trainee.