Squad 51, man bitten by hyena.
Squad 51, fan-girl with trouble breathing.
Sounds like a normal day in the life of a paramedic. In the tradition of Dragnet and Adam 12, Emergency depicted the day-to-day activities of the firefighters and paramedics of Squad 51 in Los Angeles.
The show concentrated on the rescues with just a enough personal life thrown in to make the viewers care about the characters. Randolph Mantooth stared as Johnny Gage, the younger, wilder, single medic. He had longish hair and a crooked smile and female fans adored him. John was the comedy relief of the series as he was constantly involved in some crazy scheme. The serious partner was Roy DeSoto, played by Kevin Tighe. He was the settled, married one, the voice of reason.
The supporting cast included three classic stars that had a lot more talent than they were allowed to use. Julie London played Nurse Dixie McCall. London had an amazing movie career in the 40s and 50s and she was also a recording artist. Originally married to Jack Webb, London was married to Bobby Troup who played Dr. Early on the series. Troup was a band leader and composer in his early days and he even played Tommy Dorsey in the Gene Krupa story. Rounding out the staff of Rampart General Hospital was Robert Fuller as Dr. Kelly Brackett. Fuller was a well-known western actor in the 50’s, with 100’s of TV guest credits to his name.
During the time of Emergency‘s original run (1972-1977), the majority of the collectibles came from Randolph Mantooth’s teen idol status. He was on posters, T-shirts and the cover of most teen magazines. The Milton Bradley board game has a nice conflagration on the lid and four little fire trucks for play. Samuel Lowe put out a series of puzzles that use actual show photos and there is a viewmaster for the series. And check out that lunchbox, with the guys saving two kids from a high-rise superstructure!
One of the coolest items from the era is an Emergency Halloween Costume from Collegeville but the best is the rare set of dolls from LJN. Made in the Mego style, these two guys look nothing like the actors but they were sold with neat-o accessories like oxygen tanks and a bull horn. LJN also made the truck radio you see pictured here.
Dinky die-cast also made a version of the paramedic truck. Universal Studios made Emergency a live-action show at it’s theme park in the mid-seventies. Members of the audience were chosen to help act out a scene to show how studios use film clips and editing to put together a TV show. You could buy various Emergency souvenirs at the park including a fireman’s hat, postcards and mugs.
Want to relive all the action and excitement? Emergency is available on DVD from Amazon.com.
For even more cool collectibles, visit EmergencyFans.com.