Season 2 Episode 1

Decision a.k.a. Problem

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Sep 16, 1972 on NBC
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Episode Summary

Decision a.k.a. Problem
Roy and John rescue a man whose engine has fallen on him during his car repair work. When their two-way radio is broken, Roy treats the man without proper medical supervision, causing the man's doctor to attack the paramedic program. Also: a bull gores a motorcyclist, a doctor on a consult at the hospital dies of a heart attack, Roy rescues a child from a house fire.moreless

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  • Roy considers leaving the paramedic program after facing doubt and criticism when a trauma patient in his care dies after a rescue.

    This episode ranks as a classic in the Emergency! storyline because it exposes the real growing pains that threatened the paramedic program a year after its introduction. A good firefighter is taught to use his training along with judgment of a situation to make what is sometimes a snap decision to save property, or more importantly the life of himself, his partner, or a victim.

    Roy did exactly that when the patient went into convulsions and cardiac arrest in the back of the ambulance, and started lifesaving treatment even though Rampart was not available by radio to OK it as was the procedure. The patient subsequently dies at Rampart of his injuries and the patient\'s doctor starts criticizing Roy and Brackett about the rescue and the wisdom of using paramedics out in the field. Brackett, initially wary of the paramedic program (see the pilot episode) defends Roy because he believes that Roy did his best in a difficult situation and he believed in the training that paramedics receive.

    Roy, however, is stricken with doubt about the incident, and even considers leaving the paramedic program and joining an engine company again. Brackett explains to Roy that there was nothing to do to save the victim, despite everyone\'s efforts, and what happened was not his fault. \"If you leave\" Brackett said \"there will be another man who will replace you. And you have to ask, can he do the job better than I can?\"

    Meanwhile, everything comes full circle when the doctor who was criticizing Roy and Brackett is with a third doctor who has a heart attack at Rampart. Brackett, the doubting doctor, and several others work on the cardiac case but cannot save him. The doubting doctor sees this as an example of how despite the best resources, patients do die, and eventually, and somewhat begrudgingly, apologizes to Brackett.

    It is not until the end of the episode that we know for sure if Roy is staying or going. Johnny asks him if he\'s quitting the program, Roy hesitates then said with a smile that the night before he made up his mind to stick it out, thanks to Brackett\'s talk.

    This episode is a classic and a favorite because it illustrates how fragile the program really was at one time, and how much doubt it had to overcome from the medical community.moreless
Randolph Mantooth

Randolph Mantooth

Firefighter John Gage

Kevin Tighe

Kevin Tighe

Firefighter Roy DeSoto

Robert Fuller

Robert Fuller

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

Bobby Troup

Bobby Troup

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

Julie London

Julie London

Dixie McCall, R.N.

Tim Donnelly

Tim Donnelly

Chester B. Kelly

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • This is the first and only time that the Bio-Phone's antenna is placed on the outside of the ambulance body instead of on top of the Bio-Phone. It was clearly a plot device to cause them to have no contact with the hospital.

    • Character Note: Chet Kelly starting wearing a mustache in this episode.

    • The car that the engine was been pulled out of appears to be a high performance V-8 edition of a 1962 Ford Galaxie, as the crossed flags emblem on the fender signify. But the engine on the hoist, either being pulled out or going in, is a bare bones stock straight
      six cylinder!

    • This episode was with the Crown 51. Of all the episodes shown with the Crown 51 the only episode that it was shown getting a supply line was in Hang-up. It wasn't until the Ward La France 51 that engine 51 used supply lines regularly.

    • Goofs: When Roy is in the bunk room and wakes up thinking about everything, he puts on his bunker pants and walks out. If you watch carefully, while he is putting on the pants, the front right suspender comes off and is dangling behind him. As we watch him walk through the door from behind, the suspender is still hanging, but when the camera cuts to a view of him coming through the door from the front, the suspender is reattached! Goof: Stoker and Lopez pull on the chain to hoist the engine then go and help remove the victim. The engine did not fall after they let go of the chain. Goof: The guy in ambulance is supposedly choking (coughing but his body is not moving. Goof: When Roy stops the Squad to get the victim (Bull) and he looks out the window where's Gage? It also looks like Roy is sitting on the passenger side.

      Goof: And when the squad is bringing in the man after the engine fell on him, why is the man in backwards? When did stretchers start putting the patient's head pointing to the window?

      Goof: EKG on patient (Doctor) he's not patched in and the monitor shows V fib after being shocked, and they all just stare at it. Shouldn't he be shocked again?. Goof: Roy & Johnny leave behind the stokes when they rescue the guy gored by the bull. Goof: When the call goes out for the house fire at the end station 51 gets called out with engines 95, 105 and truck 107. However at the actual scene none of the other stations that got called out show up. Engines 800 and 801 are shown obviously not having been dispatched. Also squad 51 rolls up to the house while engine 51 stops up the street presumably to get a supply line. HOWEVER when engine 51 starts up again, engine 127 is shown from the pilot movie with the hose flopping off the back and as engine 51 is shown again rolling up to the front of the house there is NO HOSE flopping off the back.

  • QUOTES (2)

  • NOTES (3)


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