Realism, Heresy, and Opportunities Squandered

When NBC’s Trauma premiered last fall EMTs and Paramedics nationwide, myself included, blasted it for its lack of realism and poor portrayal of our profession.  Ratings tanked, and the show went into hiatus.  It returned briefly this spring, and personally I felt the episodes were getting better.  There was potential there, but the network finally allowed the show to die a quiet death.

After my previous post I sat down to watch something on Hulu this afternoon, and I randomly selected an Emergency! episode.  I always love a good Emergency!

But I have to point out the following sequence:

CPR in the hosebed of the Ward, while screaming Code 3 across the county.  I love it, it’s great TV, and it’s horribly unrealistic.

Emergency! did wonderful things to raise awareness of our profession when EMS was in its infancy.  I know they had technical advisors and tried to maintain a level of realism, but there are moments like this one where drama trumps reality.  There are times when the acting is bad, when the situations are contrived, when I’m left screaming at the television.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s still great, fun entertainment.

I can’t help thinking that we squandered an opportunity when we blasted Trauma and left it to die in the street.

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BTW, I was loving that old 1965 Chevy Suburban ambulance right up until I realized they were going to crash it.  Ouch!  I know it was only old then, but it’s a classic now.  I’d love to have that old B&M coaster siren on the Medic 9 today.

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