Friday Five – Five Favorite Fire/EMS Shows/Movies

November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Okay, so we all know that there are shows, movies, books, etc that have supported our need to have all things EMS. While some of these are well-known, it really does surprise me how many of these are not known by those just entering the service

1.  Mother, Juggs, and Speed – Okay, seriously. Anyone who hasn’t seen this movie should be taken out back and beat with a stick (no not really, but COME ON!). This movie is the example of SO many things that helped the EMS service become what it is today. The movie, starring Harvey Keitel, Bill Cosby, and Raquel Welch and focuses on services in the late 70’s, when it was about the first person who put their hands on the patient, were the ones who got to treat them.

2.  Bringing Out the Dead – Starring Nicholas Cage, this is a look at the dark/personnel sie of the system. It shows the alcoholism, stress, burnout, and PTSD associated with a career in the EMS service. I’ve also read the book, which (as with every movie/book combo) provides a much deeper story. This movie is definitely a must see, to remind people that it’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows in the field.

3.  Emergency – Much like The Towering Inferno is to the Fire Service, Emergency is to the EMS profession. This show, introducing us to Johnny and Roy, led people to understand the emerging service that was EMS. They talked about the new paramedic program, and the shock of training people to be “doctors” in the field.  I’ve been lucky enough to hear Randolph Mantooth (one of the primary actors) speak at our conference. He truly supports the EMS system and still campaigns for funding and improvement.

4.  Trauma – This short-lived, modern-day look at EMS really was a sensationalized view of the profession, but I still liked it. The thing to remember when watching these shows is that if they showed what the job was REALLY like (difficulty breathing, chest pains, stubbed toes) it wouldn’t stay on T.V. at all.

5. Trauma: Life in the ER: Okay, so part of my love of Trauma: Life in the ER is that my cousin, a firefighter in DC was on an episode (for only like 5 seconds, but I knew it was him). The other part of is that it showed not only field, but the interaction between field providers and the hospital, and sometimes not in a positive interaction. I really think it is important for those coming into the service to understand that we don’t always get along with everyone. It also showed the follow through of what the disposition of the patient was after they were dropped off by the ambulance.

So, what do you think are shows/movies that have made a difference or impacted the EMS field?

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