Cancel Truck 127

Captain Stanley is my hero. There, I’ve said it.

For those not of the generation to immediately recognize the name, Captain Henry ‘Hank’ Stanley was the fictional character in charge of Los Angeles County Fire Station 51 in the 1970’s TV series ‘Emergency!’ He guided Gage, DeSoto, Kelley, Lopez and Stoker through more than 100 hour-long episodes and brought everyone safely home in the end.

In the past I’ve joked about using ‘Cap’ as a role model. Everyone laughs. This week as I was watching an old episode in syndication, I began to quantify what I meant.

Consider the following:

  • Captain Stanley never gets unduly excited or yells on the radio. Never.
  • He always has a plan. And it always works.
  • He’s fair.
  • He’s a nice guy, but still the boss. Everyone respects him.
  • He keeps his crews well trained. Most incidents are handled with a simple order or two: “Chet, Marco; inch and a half in the front door.” Done.
  • He leaves his personal life at home.
  • When blown across the room by an exploding {whatever}, he picks himself up and goes right back to work.

You could do much worse in a fire officer. Of course it’s easier when someone else scripts it all for you.

I know he’s a fictional character, but I’d be honored to serve with such a man. As a Lieutenant, I strive to embody those qualities myself. Especially the one about not yelling on the radio.

“LA, Engine 51. Cancel Truck 127. Station 51 out 20 minutes.”

2 comments

  1. coneycat

    I recently rediscovered Emergency! (bought every DVD I could get my hands on) and I've just been thinking myself about what a great CO character Captain Stanley is. I loved your post.

  2. coneycat

    I recently rediscovered Emergency! (bought every DVD I could get my hands on) and I've just been thinking myself about what a great CO character Captain Stanley is. I loved your post.