IMDb > "Emergency!" The Wedsworth-Townsend Act (1972)

"Emergency!" The Wedsworth-Townsend Act (1972)

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Harold Jack Bloom (creator)
Harold Jack Bloom (written by) ...
View company contact information for The Wedsworth-Townsend Act on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
15 January 1972 (Season 1, Episode 0)
The new LACFD paramedics struggle to prove themselves to a doubtful Dr. Brackett as a pending state bill authorizing their field duties comes to a vote. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Ahead of its time! See more (19 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Robert Fuller ... Dr. Kelly Brackett

Julie London ... Dixie McCall, R.N.

Bobby Troup ... Dr. Joe Early

Randolph Mantooth ... Paramedic John Gage

Kevin Tighe ... Paramedic Roy DeSoto

Martin Milner ... Officer Pete Malloy

Kent McCord ... Officer Jim Reed

Jack Kruschen ... State Assemblyman Michael Wolski

Ann Morgan Guilbert ... Woman In Trouble
Lew Brown ... Man with Ulcer
Art Balinger ... Battalion Chief Conrad

Virginia Gregg ... Wilma Jacobs, R.N.
Herb Vigran ... Committee Chairman

Colby Chester ... Fireman Tony Freeman
Ron Pinkard ... Tom Gray, M.D.
Kathryn Kelly Wiget ... Joanne DeSoto
Bert Holland ... Convention Center Manager
Don Ross ... Man at Boatyard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Rand Brooks ... Police Officer at Traffic Accident (uncredited)
Art Gilmore ... Battalion Chief (uncredited)
Scott Gourlay ... Orderly (uncredited)

Linda Kelsey ... Victim (uncredited)
Sam Lanier ... Radio Dispatcher (uncredited)
Marco López ... Fireman Marco Lopez (uncredited)
John Nolan ... Workman (uncredited)
Kathleen O'Malley ... Woman at Cave-In (uncredited)
Don Pierpont ... Battalion 14's Aide (uncredited)
Mark Russell ... Station 51 Fireman (uncredited)

Brad Savage ... Tim (uncredited)
Len Wayland ... Police Sergeant at Rampart (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Jack Webb 
Writing credits
Harold Jack Bloom  creator &
Harold Jack Bloom  written by &
Robert A. Cinader  creator (as R.A. Cinader) &
Robert A. Cinader  written by (as R.A. Cinader)

Produced by
Robert A. Cinader .... producer (as R.A. Cinader)
William Stark .... associate producer (as Wm. Stark)
Jack Webb .... executive producer
Original Music by
Nelson Riddle 
Cinematography by
Jack A. Marta (director of photography) (as Jack Marta)
Film Editing by
Warren Adams  (as Warren H. Adams)
Art Direction by
John J. Lloyd 
Set Decoration by
Mickey S. Michaels 
Production Management
Joseph E. Kenney .... unit manager (as Joseph E. Kenny)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Phil Bowles .... assistant director
Sound Department
Robert R. Bertrand .... sound (as Robert Bertrand)
Special Effects by
Wayne Beauchamp .... pyrotechnician (uncredited)
Harold 'Hal' Frizzell .... stunts (uncredited)
Scott Gourlay .... stunts (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Larry Harmell .... costume supervisor (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

96 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG (video rating)

Did You Know?

Linda Kelsey's TV debut.See more »
Revealing mistakes: In the intro, four SCU tones are sounded for the factory fire. Since 7 units are summoned to the fire, with 5 of them being in Station 10, there should only be a maximum of 3 stations responding to the fire, and therefore 3 SCU tones.See more »
Battalion Chief:Gage.
Paramedic John Gage:Yes sir?
Battalion Chief:That special training program. Remember? We were talking about it a couple of days ago?
Paramedic John Gage:Yes sir. The para-something-or-other...
Battalion Chief:Paramedics. The first class just finished last week.
Paramedic John Gage:Good.
Battalion Chief:I'm supposed to encourage all our young rescue personnel to volunteer for the next class.
Paramedic John Gage:Yes sir. Wellll, I guess I'm just too stupid to take advantage of such an opportunity.
Battalion Chief:I know it's work. No raise in pay. But, it just might be worthwhile.
Paramedic John Gage:It might be, if I wanted to be an ambulance attendant; but I don't. Chief, I'm a rescue man. I trained to be a rescue man and I like being a rescue man. Now, why should I die from improvements?
See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Perils of Pauline (1914)See more »


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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Ahead of its time!, 8 February 2004
Author: stgcomm-1

We tend to take for granted that when we dial 911, or another emergency number, that police, fire, paramedics, etc will be there to assist in a timely manner. While firefighting has been strongly established in the United States since the Colonial days of Ben Franklin and bucket brigades, and rescue techniques have been studied and taught for a century, it is only in the past 35 years that emergency medicine in the field has come into being. Before that, ambulance attendants trained in basic first aid and oxygen administration would pick up patients, many of whom would die from lack of timely emergency medical attention in cases like heart attack, stroke, and trauma. Military medics returning from Korea and Vietnam in part spurred a call to establish emergency field treatment for civilians as well.

And this remarkable made for TV movie tells that story, using real facts and situations worked into a fascinating drama.

Many people were hesitant to move the hospital out into the field, and there were very few believers at first, even among the rescue-trained firefighters who would become these paramedics. Johnny Gage himself is a doubter when his battalion chief approaches him in the beginning of the episode, since he is worried that he would become an "ambulance attendant" and not the firefighter and "rescue man" that he had trained to be.

However, through incidents in the episode, including a near-fatal accident with Nurse Dixie and a tunnel cave-in, the worth of the LA County FD paramedics are proven, even to Dr. Kelly Brackett, the original greatest doubter who goes on to become the physician director and greatest proponent and defender of the program in later episodes. Brackett's speech before the California Assembly committee expressing his belief that short of more doctors and hospitals, trained paramedics were the best alternative, is vital in getting the bill passed that authorized the program.

Emergency! was definitely a show ahead of its time because it brought the reality of rescue into the living rooms of America and spurred countless people to support, and even join, paramedic and EMT programs. A show that still sparks discussion 31 years after its premiere and 25 or so years after its network series finale definitely deserves credit. The show is still relevant in firefighting and EMS circles especially, both from a historical perspective, and as examples of how incidents are handled. The only sad thing is that there is no restored DVD box set available, because although the message lives on, some film prints available on video have not survived well in color and sound quality, and some shown on TV have been shortened for time.

Still an all time favorite for me, I watched it with my father, and now I watch it with my 4 year old son.

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