The Old Engine

Season 3, Ep 2, Aired 9/29/73
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  • Episode Description
  • Roy and John buy an old fire engine, and Station 51 gets a new engine. A woman overdoses on LSD and Roy tries to talk her down, leading the two paramedics on a chase to the top of a building. Brackett treats a resilient gunshot victim. A politician suffers a heart attack and the station responds to a warehouse fire.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Randolph Mantooth

    Firefighter John Gage

  • Kevin Tighe

    Firefighter Roy DeSoto

  • Robert Fuller

    Kelly Brackett, M.D., F.A.C.S.

  • Bobby Troup

    Joe Early, M.D., F.A.C.S.

  • Julie London

    Dixie McCall, R.N.

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (4)

    • Dixie: (teasing the paramedics for buying the antique engine) If you happen to hear of an old hospital I can pick up cheap, let me know.

    • Dr. Early: (to patient) Do you have any medical problems? Patient: I've got a bullet in the gut, what do you think?

    • Dr. Brackett: (trying to convince a recovering patient to stay in the hospital) You've just had major abdominal surgery! Patient: I'm hungry!

    • Dixie: What's wrong with you Johnny? Johnny: Oh I've been wounded. Dixie: Well you know where everything is.

    Notes (3)

    • This episode sees a number of changes to the show. Not only do we see the new engine, but there is a new base station introduced at the hospital which contains many new gadgets. There are now two base station units (something John suggested in the previous episode) to allow for handling multiple calls. The hospital also gets a link to the fire department's main call center so they can track what is happening. Finally, we see a more modern cube ambulance being used instead of the station-wagon type vehicles seen previously.

    • Goof: On the probable overdose, the dispatcher gives the location as "2267 W. Hill, apartment 6". As Gage and DeSoto enter the apartment upon arrival, the street numbers "11044" can clearly be seen above their heads on the eaves.

    • The "old engine" is a 1932 Dennis, which is remarkable since it was made in England and therefore has right-hand drive. This is one of the few episodes (if not the only one) where Johnny and Roy actually respond as part of the engine company, riding in the exciting (but now prohibited in most circumstances) tailboard position. The squad is out on a run with the previous crew when the junkyard fire call comes in, and Cap calls them over to Engine 51. Not only do Johnny and Roy attempt to begin restoration of the vintage Dennis, the old Crown Firecoach Engine 51 is retired (off-screen) and replaced with a brand-new Ward LaFrance, carrying the Old Engine theme throughout the episode. This was also occurring in real-life at the LA County FD as the Firecoaches began to be phased out at the time, and in the spirit of realism, so was the fictional Engine 51.

    Trivia (3)

    • This is the first episode to use the hammer and stamp to make the VII for Mark VII Limited in the end credits.

    • Goof: On the call for the structure fire at 1700 Lakeview, only the tones for Station 51 are heard, but the dispatcher calls out more units than just Station 51.

    • Goof: When they difibulate the heart attack victim, Johnny only squirts gel on one paddle instead of both the way it is usually done.

    Allusions (1)

    • Desoto (to Stoker, Kelly and Marcos about the 1932 Dennis fire engine): "Yeah, you know the guy that we bought it from said it went through the earthquake in '33". Desoto is referring to the Long Beach earthquake which occurred on March 10, 1933, shortly before 6:00 PM. Measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, the earthquake caused massive damage to many buildings throughout Southern California. As a result, state legislation in California was passed to make all school buildings resistant to earthquakes.

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