John Gage was based on Battalion Chief Jim Page, who helped create the firefighter/paramedic program for LACoFD. Executive Producer Jack Webb wanted to name the character after Page, but he declined. Jim Page died on 4 September 2004 and Randolph Mantooth was one of the speakers at his memorial.
'Emergency!' was truly a family affair because Julie London was at the time married to co-star Bobby Troup and had been hired by her previous husband Jack Webb who was the series' creator and producer.
The Harbor UCLA Medical Center served as Rampart Emergency Hospital in the series. The hospital is located in Torrance, California. 1000 West Carson Street. This is appropriate, as this hospital (then known as Harbor General) served as the initial training facility for the Los Angeles County Paramedic Training Program.
Fire Station 51 is in real life Los Angeles County Fire Station 127 located at 2049 E. 223rd Street in Carson. Furthermore, although the actual station crew has never included a paramedic unit, Harbor UCLA Medical Center, the actual hospital that is portrayed as Rampart, is the closest hospital to it so it would be the regular medical facility Station 127 would deal with. The station is still in service with little change. The second Engine 51 used in the show is now retired and on display with the Los Angeles County Fire Museum.
Paramedics Gage and Desoto sometimes crossed paths with Reed and Malloy from Adam-12 (1968), another Jack Webb show, at Rampart Hospital. In Emergency!: Hang-Up (1972), the firefighters are watching Adam-12: Ambush (1971) when they're dispatched to a call. Throughout the rest of the show, the firemen are on the phone to anyone, trying to find out what they missed.
On CHiPs (1977), the fictitious Engine and Squad 51 respond to a motor vehicle accident, in the episode titled "MAIT Game"; moreover, it isn't just two pieces of apparatus with the same number - it is the Ward-LaFrance Engine and Dodge Utility body, even shown pulling out of the 51 Stationhouse. However, the crew is not shown because "Emergency!" had already gone off the air.
The series originated when producer Robert A. Cinader was in the Los Angeles area researching for a new medical drama series. There, he learned of the fledgling paramedic program being tested in the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Upon learning the full details of the program and the nature of their dispatches, Cinader immediately concluded the adventures of such a team of special firefighters would be excellent material for a TV series.
During the show's run, it was credited with actually saving lives. There were many news reports over the years of children and adults saving people using techniques demonstrated in the series. However in later seasons, the series posted a disclaimer in the credits noting that the medical techniques demonstrated should only be performed by people with proper formal training in them. To further illustrate the need for proper training, one story, "Gifted," had the main characters deal with a patient whose serious medical condition was aggravated by an injury accidentally inflicted by an amateur incorrectly applying a medical technique called a precordial thump and reprimanding him for the error.
The radio call sign KMG365, which is said whenever Station 51 is responding to a call, is still a valid FCC call sign licensed to the LACoFD. It appears on the station patches for the crew at Station 127, which was used as the filming location for Station 51.
During his recurring role on Emergency! (1972), the character Officer Vince played by Vince Howard, rotated from being a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department to a generic police department after Jack Webb had an argument with the LASD.
Midway throughout the last two seasons of Emergency! (1972), Robert Fuller's on-screen appearances have been reduced. He wasn't very happy with the direction the show was going, there would be special episodes losing momentum, there were some people in production one in particular that what is a real problem for him to deal with around and he was looking for other projects like in Westerns.
In various water rescues in which Johnny, Roy, or any other rescuer has to enter the water wearing their uniforms, each character can be seen wearing specialized and or water-resistant shoes made to look like department issued black leather chukka boots which they would be normally wearing at the time. In some cases, Converse Chuck Taylor shoes are colored all black and worn or some other type of shoe. This practice started at or around season 3 and on as to save money or time on the leather boots being soaked and/or ruined.
In many scenes of Emergency! in which the audience see's footage of Squad 51 responding with the camera's POV from the front seat facing out the front windshield, the driver can be seen wearing a Squad 18 helmet reflecting in the rear view mirror. In the book Emergency! Behind the Scene, Los Angeles County Fireman/Paramedic Bob Hoff stated that Squad 18 was used for this stock footage with the Cinematographer sitting in the middle with a small hand held camera.
In Season 4, Ep. 20 titled "The Mouse", real Los Angeles County Fire Department(LACoFD) Firefighters can be seen during the structure fire scenes at the apartment complex in Pasadena. Some of the Fireman featured are Fire Captain David Boucher of Engine 12, Fire Captain James Roberts of Engine 19, Firefighter Specialist RM Branch of Truck 82 and Firefighter Richard Zimmer of Engine 82. Retired Fire Captain Dave Boucher is also the LACoFD Historian and has published many books on the department's history and apparatus.
At the conclusion of the series, Jack Webb was going to promote Julie London into becoming an executive producer of some possible series. She turned it town, and has retired from entertainment business to spend more time with her family.
In a couple episodes of Emergency!, Dixie visited Fire Station 127, on occasion. On the premiere episode, she only rode Squad 51's truck, twice, in rescuing victimized patients with Johnny and Roy, before being victimized herself.