Season 1 Episode 0

The Wedsworth-Townsend Act

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jan 15, 1972 on NBC

Episode Recap

The screen pans to a fire station with tankers, engines, trucks, and a car, all red and shiny, gleaming. There are sleeping firemen with boots at their bedside. The tones go off for a structure fire. The firemen step into their boots and pants, slide down the pole, and get into their apparatus, then roll out the door.

(opening credits)


There is a raging fire at the factory. They roll out the hoses and lay a line. The men work furiously to put out the fire. One man comes out of the fire and beckons Johnny Gage and another fireman to come. They don their oxygen and masks and go with him, bring out an injured man, and start him on oxygen. The fire is then reported under control.

The fire trucks return to station. The captain asks Johnny if he remembers the paramedic training program he had talked to him about earlier. Johnny is not really interested, and tells the Chief he is a rescue man, not an ambulance attendant. The tones go off at that moment for a high voltage electrocution. Squad 10 takes off for the call.

They arrive on-scene to find a worker stuck up on the cross beams of an electrical pole. He has been electrocuted and is unconscious. A ladder is raised so they can rescue the man. After the power is cut off, Johnny gets the man down from the pole and begins CPR. He is then transferred to Rampart Emergency.

At Rampart Dr. Early is shaking a boy upside down to get a quarter out of his mouth. Dr. Brackett comes in, and then Dixie tells them of the cardiac arrest coming in from the electrocution. Brackett continues CPR, with no luck. They defibrillate at 400, and then try epinephrine in a cardiac stick. The man flatlines and the staff have disappointment on their faces. Dixie says if he could have been defibrillated on-scene, he would have lived. She is an advocate for the paramedics. Brackett refuses to agree that sending amateurs out to do his job, is a good thing. Johnny comes in and sees the man dead. When he tells Brackett that he was sure the man was alive, Dr. Brackett chews him out, and calls him an amateur and leaves the room.

Johnny looks at the side of his rescue squad at the word "rescue" and says "Rescue hell, all we rescued was a corpse".

Johnny asks Roy DeSoto, the paramedic in charge of the program, if he was to be trained and roll on a rescue call today, could he do anything. Roy tells him no, but there is a bill in the legislature at that moment, and if it's passed then they can. He tells Johnny that they need trained personnel ready when the bill passes. Johnny decides to sign his application.

At Rampart, Dr. Brackett is complaining about the secretary who flubbed up an x-ray. Dixie tries to calm him down and he takes her to lunch. He tells Dixie he is against the entire paramedic program.

Johnny and the other trainees get their books for the Dr. Brackett, Dr. Early and Dixie McCall are teaching the They learn to give shots, set broken bones, use the defibrillator, and other techniques. Roy tells Johnny that Dixie was in Korea, while Brackett trained at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Early teaches them s on the human muscular system.

Brackett and Dixie are having martinis together at her apartment. They are discussing the paramedic program, Dixie trying to talk Brackett into it. He tells her he wants the trainees to have their best shot, not because he believes in the program but because they are working hard for it. They kiss.

Roy is giving the trainees their badges at graduation. State Assemblyman Mike Wolski is there as well, a supporter of the paramedical program. Roy tells Johnny he is going to Station 51, a new station and he wants Johnny to join him. Assemblyman Wolski tells Brackett he has done a fine job and asks him to help promote the bill as he needs support from experts and especially someone with Brackett's reputation. Dr. Brackett tells him he is not interested in testifying.

Station 51 is a new station equipped with an engine and a Rescue Squad. The new squad has a right front compartment that is locked. In it is a defibrillator, EKG, 2-way UHF radio, O.B. kit, and a drug box. It has to remain locked at all times with an 8,000 dollar inventory all told.

Tones are set for a traffic accident with injuries. Squad 51 responds and swings by Rampart to pick up a nurse to help with the accident.

Dixie contacts Rampart and lets Dr. Early know the patients' stats. They are given the go ahead to transport. The policeman comes over and asks the two men to please help with traffic since they are just "firemen" and "not doing anything."

Kelly Brackett and Dixie are at an empty convention hall. You can hear them talking about their relationship. She then mentions that Mike Wolski told her Kelly refuses to endorse the program. He defends himself saying they should train more doctors instead of firemen. She tells him he is wrong and asks him to take her home.

Assemblyman Wolski is at Station 51 and telling the firemen that his dad was a firefighter. They talk about the low morale and lack of volunteers for the training program. Wolski says they can't dump the bill on the floor too soon, and waste their chance. He lets it out that Brackett won't help support the program.

Dr. Early is diagnosing a man with an ulcer.

Officers Reed and Malloy are at Rampart. Malloy is trying to get Dixie to go out with him. He asks her out and she asks him to keep circling because it's good for her morale. Reed assures her "He will", then gets a look from Malloy.

An Asian girl comes in with a severed arm from a boat accident 30 minutes before. Kelly insists on having the Johnny and Roy go find her arm. He wants to reattach the arm. They go to the scene of the accident and find out that she was painting the boat's name in dry-dock on the stern and a man started the engine up, thereby cutting her arm off at her elbow. Dr. Early insists that the surgery won't work, but agrees to help Kelly do the surgery. Dixie volunteers to be scrub nurse. Johnny and Roy return to Rampart with the arm in a sterile sheet in saline solution.

A lady comes into the hospital with a toilet seat stuck to her rear and needs it removed. Her husband had painted it without her knowing and she sat on it before it was dry. They get a solvent from maintenance to remove it.

Dr. Brackett reattaches the girl's arm in surgery. and explains to Roy and Johnny that her arm may not function as it used to but at least it's her own.

Dr. Early calls Dr. Brackett over with a challenging case. A young boy has come in with his horn, a 3 week old pet bunny having climbed inside the tubing. The bunny won't shake out and they can't cut the horn because it belongs to the school band. Dr. Brackett takes some chloroform on a rag and blows it into the horn, sedating the bunny and allowing him to slide out onto the table. The boy asks what he owes Dr. Early and Joe tells him a quarter, he works cheap.

Brackett apologizes to Dixie for his actions the other night. They test the oriental girl's reflexes after surgery and she is able to move her fingers! Dixie tells Kelly that it is a miracle the girl is able to move her fingers. Dixie invites Kelly to her house for a wine and spaghetti dinner at her house for Johnny Gage's birthday. Kelly is not sure he would be welcome but says he will come, as the lady walks by with the toilet seat in her hand that was formerly attached to her rear.

At Dixie's apartment


Joe Early is playing Jazz at the piano. Dixie introduces Brackett to Roy's wife Jo Anne. She tells him she is proud of Roy and of what he wants to do. Dixie informs Mike Wolski he has a phone call from Sacramento. He hushes everyone and breaks the news that the committee has decided to have open hearings for the paramedic bill. Johnny asks if Dr. Brackett is disappointed. Kelly congratulates them and leaves the party. Dixie stops him and asks him to stay. He says he is sensitive to the topic because he is undecided and that they really don't understand each other at all, then leaves.

The next day Dixie is with Johnny and Roy on a call for a vehicular accident with injury. The car is over the side of an embankment on its top, teetering on a ledge.

They grab their equipment and go over the side of the hill. A man is lying outside the car and a women is inside of it. Dixie climbs inside to try and help the woman who has a fractured radius and ulna. They pull her out but the car is rocking badly. The underside of it catches on fire, as the guys pull the woman out of the car. Dixie's head is still inside the car and passes out.

The car goes over the side but luckily Dixie slides out, unconscious. They take her blood pressure and start her on a fast IV with atropine. Johnny contacts Rampart to update them. Brackett tells them to relay to the nurse that treatment is confirmed, then finds out that Dixie is hurt and unconscious.

Brackett sends a nurse is on the way and orders them not to treat the patients, but Johnny grabs the phone and says "To hell with the orders" and disconnects.

Dr. Brackett comes in Dixie's room and shows her the x-rays, which are remarkably clean. He tells her that it's a good thing the other woman was sedated and immobilized. Dixie asks him who did those "proper medical procedures" and he tells her "you did. no one else was authorized".

Dr. Brackett goes into his office to talk to Roy and Johnny. He chews them out for treating the patients without his permission, and explains to them that they could have had bad publicity for their paramedic program and that the only sure doctor is a fool. He goes on to say they are not doctors. Roy assures him they did their best. As they leave his office, he praises them for their work.

Joe Early comes in to say that the two guys saved the three patients' lives and without those "two hose jockeys" Dixie would be in a cold drawer in the morgue. He thinks that the program really works. Kelly picks up the letter about the legislature meeting and goes to the meeting with Mike Wolski. Mike says him he has other doctors testifying but they don't have Brackett's reputation in the field of emergency medical. He takes Kelly to the committee.

Dr. Brackett informs the committee they are all in danger, if an earthquake or bomb should hit them right now. He would be the only doctor to help save their lives. Ambulance attendants could carry them to a waiting doctor but they are unable to do any real work. But the paramedics would be able to provide the treatment needed until they can get to the hospital and that he is in favor of the bill.

Johnny and Roy bring a patient in with a heroin overdose. It's raining heavily outside, thundering and lightning. Tones go off and the portable radio. There is a tunnel explosion with cave in at the flood control tower at the Alameda Diversion Complex. Meanwhile Dr. Brackett waits for a voting result. Mike Wolski comes and tells him that phase one has passed and the vote is going to the floor of the legislature at eight o clock that night. Kelly leaves and goes back to Rampart.

There are several fire department apparatus at the scene of the cave-in. Roy and Johnny are told to setup an aid station inside the tunnel. A man and woman approach the fire chief and ask if they have seen the woman's elderly father, but he says no. Dr. Brackett arrives back at Rampart and is told they are on stand-by. Joe is ordering blood from the blood bank. Patients begin to come in for Johnny and Roy to treat. Back at Rampart patients are rolling in with severe injuries to the head and chest. A crowd is gathering at the tunnel waiting to hear about their loved ones inside. Roy gets their equipment to begin paramedic procedures but Johnny stops him, saying he was wrong in his previous attitude and if they don't show discipline now that they could wash the entire program down the drain. Roy rethinks it and decides not to use the EKG and defibrillator. The fire chief comes in and tells them they have found a handful of survivors and they need to move it quick because the walls may not hold much longer. There are eight men all severely injured. One man explains that Riley is pinned down under the blades of a machine, and that he has a bad heart. They have to use the porta-power and jacks. Another man has a severe leg injury and asks for pain medicine. The jack up the porta-power to raise the machine off of the injured man. As they are doing this there is a slight rock and mudslide in the tunnel. They are able to free the man finally.

The man and woman again talk to the fire chief. They think the injured man is her father. Roy raises Rampart on the phone and tells them about the heart patient. Brackett orders them to send an EKG so he can get a reading. The man begins to fibrillate. He stuns Johnny and Roy with his order to defibrillate the patient. He lies when he says that he heard from Wolski that the bill had passed. They get out the paddles and defibrillate at 400 with no conversion. They hit him again and it works.

A woman and her daughter are crying over a man on a stretcher who has died and she drops her newspaper. Roy picks up the newspaper and sees where Dr. Brackett's plea to the committee caused the speedy passage of the paramedic bill. Dr. Brackett commends them on their fine work. He and Dixie leave. Johnny is a bit shell-shocked at Dr. Brackett's change of attitude. Roy reveals to him that people have been known to change.