FirstNet Sponsors Film About Challenges Faced by Paramedics
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 | Comments

The 70’s TV show “Emergency!” introduced the concept of paramedics to millions of viewers and inspired thousands to become EMS practitioners themselves. Now, the two stars of the show are co-producing a documentary, called “Into the Unknown” to tell the story of today’s paramedic, following a pandemic that strained the nation’s healthcare system and revealed the critical role that paramedics play in caring for their communities.

“My life was saved by two firefighter paramedics,” said Randy Mantooth, who played Johnny Gage in the series. “My sister’s life was saved by a paramedic and a flight nurse. They literally gave us our lives back, and yet I don’t even know their names. Over-worked, sometimes overlooked and nearly always taken for granted, paramedics are real-world heroes. My hope is that ‘Into the Unknown’ will provide the public with an understanding of and appreciation for the critical role these individuals play.”

FirstNet, built with AT&T, is the principal sponsor of the project, which will realistically depict the lives and jobs of half a dozen paramedic crews around the nation. Additional sponsors supporting the documentary’s production include Masimo and ZOLL Medical Corporation.

“This project brings awareness of the vital role EMS plays and highlights the very real impacts to the personal health and wellness of these individuals,” said Lynnée Hopson, assistant vice president, FirstNet marketing at AT&T. AT&T holds the federal contract to build and maintain the FirstNet nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).

“Stories like these are why we’re committed to supporting FirstNet,” Hopson said. “And it’s one of the reasons we launched the FirstNet Health and Wellness Program. Paramedics, and all the first responders they represent, need our support as they face daunting challenges in delivering care in every situation imaginable.”

The project has an advisory board made up of 18 key industry leaders and is endorsed by 20 major national EMS organizations, representing almost 2 million members. Dr. Baxter Larmon nationally recognized EMS educator/researcher, and a professor of emergency medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, serves on the executive committee for “Into the Unknown.”

“Throughout my four-decade career, and in my travel and interactions with every type of stakeholder in the EMS profession, I’ve found they all have one thing in common,” Larmon said. “They believe the U.S. public doesn’t understand what EMS is about and what paramedics do, day to day, one patient at a time, to make sure they are cared for, safe and end up where they belong. Whether it’s a senior who has fallen, a teenager who has overdosed, a middle-aged woman in cardiac arrest, or the victim of a severe car crash, these are people often facing the worse days of their lives; we’re there to help. This documentary will go a long way in ensuring that the public understands who we are, what we do and why we matter.”

In addition to Larmon, the executive team includes Executive Producer Tonya Mantooth, a ten-time regional Emmy award winner, and Steve Martin, retired assistant fire chief for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

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