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The First Responders of Television

 Just stumbled across a review of this book.

The First Responders of Television

from the publisher:

From the first live telecast of an actual fire in 1938, to such weekly television series as Rescue 8, Emergency!, Saved and Rescue Me in the US and International favorites of England's London's Burning, Germany's Medicopter 117, and Japan's Burning Flame trilogy, this book offers detailed coverage of the many First Responders of Television.

They include Firefighters, Police Officers, Paramedics, EMT's, Lifeguards, Aeromedical, Forest Rangers, and the Coast Guard. Over 150 dramatic and comedic programs from around the world are discussed including the apparatus they rode on, helicopters, aircraft, and boats utilized as well as the hospitals they filmed out of.

Also included are reality programming, (Rescue 911, The Paramedics, and others), made for television movies (Firefighter, Pine Canyon is Burning), unsold pilots, and individual fire or rescue episodes from programs such as Perry Mason, Hunter, The A-Team, Law and Order, and others are covered.

about the author:

Richard Yokley was a member of the Bonita-Sunnyside Fire Protection District (San Diego, California) from 1972 to 1999. He received Firehouse Magazine's Heroism and Community Service Award in 1987. He has written several newspaper and trade journal articles, this is his third book. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to The Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society.

Lee Goldberg's Review:

"First Responders" is a massive and ambitious undertaking, covering every U.S. TV series, unsold pilot, reality show, dcumentary and TV movie about first responders (mostly firefighters, but also lifeguards, medics, forest rangers,highway patrolmen, etc), produced from the 1950s to early 2011. If that wasn't enough, the book also covers major and minor TV series about first responders produced all over the world and has appendices on such things as firehouses on television, rescue vehicles on TV, and on technical advisors.

Yokley is particularly interested in how authentic the shows were, particularly the vehicles, equipment, and locations they used, and other details relating to how the rescues and fires were depicted. It's fascinating stuff, but for me, I would have appreciated knowing a lot more about the shows creatively, how they were developed and written, and how they ultimately went right or wrong. So, for me, the book was a little unsatisfying…but even so, I loved it. It's truly a great TV book. The depth of Yokley's research, his personal knowledge of the rescue field, and his apprecation of first responders (fire fighters in particular) comes through on every page. This is a major work of television scholarship, something Bear Manor Media specializes in publishing, and is a must-have for any television reference library.

Go to A Writer's Life to read more of Goldberg's review.  (HERE)

Mike "FossilMedic" Ward

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Laura A. Cathcart

    Nice find! My brother and I grew up watching the Towering Inferno over and over again with our father. We look back on it now and wonder how we were ever allowed to watch it and why our parents are surprised we both became firefighters! I also make sure to promote Emergency! in all of my EMT classes because it’s just such a classic!