Johnny - "This One's For YOU"

nfd2004

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
5,661
I think it is certainly safe to say that we have all enjoyed the great stories on here by our good friend, Mr Johnny Gage, aka Dan P.

So Johnny, in appreciation for your excellent contribution to us; "this ones for you".

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WdWBAUbTfk
 
Last edited:

nfd2004

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
5,661
Here in a follow up story, the actor who played "Johnny Gage", aka Randolph Mantooth, talks about what it was like behind the cameras and microphones as the country was introduced to firefighters responding to medical calls.

"It was a time when firefighters responded to fires and not woman having babies or old men having heart attacks".

The series ran from 1972 - 1977. In many cities across the country, certainly in New York City, it was the PEAK TIME in the history of the FDNY for the most fires. As we know, for the FDNY it was called: "The FDNY War Years" and much has been written about it and it is still talked about these days.

Firefighters across the country would say: 'We're Firefighters NOT Doctors".

The term EMT, Paramedic, blood pressure, pulse rate, seemed like a foreign language to most firefighters.

When I was hired to be a firefighter in 1975, I was told I MUST attend EMT School on my off time, for which there was no pay at the time. I would have one year to complete it but if I want that job, that's what I would have to do. When I was working, they would get a guy to come in for 4 hours to cover my place.

Out of a small 60 man department in 1975/76, I was one of only 12 EMTs, mostly all newly hired firefighters. But I was okay with it.

This TV Show had a huge impact on the fire service across the entire country. People began to expect to see firefighters responding on medical calls.

And it all began with a couple of Hollywood TV Characters by the name of Roy Desoto and Johnny Gage.

Here the TV Character named Johnny Gage talks a little bit about making those TV shows of Emergency. Some may find it kind of hard to hear, so listen closely.

In this video, at the 1:40 min mark, he talks about a L.A. County Battalion Chief named Jim Page. Jim Page was ahead of his time. He had wrote a book about the fire service and EMS after he retired. I remember reading in that book; (Quote) "If a fire truck can respond to a trash can fire, why can't it respond to someone having a heart attack or having breathing problems". It certainly made sense to me.

So take it away Johnny:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kTARbHZHkg
 
Last edited:

JohnnyGage

Active member
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
662
Thanks Willy, sorry for the late response, I just noticed your post today.

"EMERGENCY" was a decent show from Jack Webb, who also produced my other favorite tv show Adam-12. EMERGENCY did have an impact on the fire service especially introducing and elevating medical services from "scoop and go" into what was only a firefighting mode at the time. The showed aired at the height of the "WAR YEARS" and ran successfully for five years.

I was ok with the "calls", but I was really into the scenes of inside the firehouse and banter between the members, (same for Adam-12 in the squad car). Of course I compared it to my buff days during the same time with L 31, no comparison by far, but entertaining non the less.

I and a few members of my vol fire dept attempted to take an EMT course in 1975 while a volunteer firefighter. Since my fire dept did not have an "ambulance", we were asked to leave. I wrote to and met with State representatives who understood but stated that was part of the requirement. I then was hired as a "Ambulette" driver for a company on Long Island, I was put into the next EMT class. Worked for the ambulette company and then applied to NYCEMS where the EMT Certificate opened the door to the "Gory Days".

The show reinforced my vigor weekly to pursue a career in the fire service taking many tests as a young lad and landing on quite a few lists. Thanks to the Big Guy up above I was successful in my quest.

Best, JohnnyGage!
 
Top