In the accompanying photo, the man on the right wearing a cable knit sweater is Mike Curtis, a former Milwaukee paramedic who was a at UMBC.
On the left is Jim Page, one of the fathers of EMS. He was an affiliate faculty of the EHS program and a big supporter of its mission.
Back in the 1960s-70s, Page was a batallion chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Through working as a technical advisor on Dragnet and other Hollywood productions, Page became friends with Jack Webb.
In early 1970s, after Dragnet had run its course, Webb was fishing around for another subject for a series—something new, different and exciting. Page suggested that Webb take a look at something new LAFD was doing—bringing advanced medical care into the field with specially trained paramedics.
In January of 1972, Webb introduced Emergency!, which for six years on NBC followed the adventures of Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto and the crew at Station 51.
Page served as technical advisor for Emergency!, which was noted for using real firefighters in supporting roles. Webb gave Jim Page a nod by naming the character John Gage in his honor.
Page founded a publishing company that produced the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, known as JEMS magazine, and sponsored workshops and seminars for firefighters, EMTs and paramedics.
Through his influential magazines and educational conferences, Page did more to advance EMS as a profession than any single individual.
When I met Page during one of his visits to UMBC, I had the odd thought that he was ultimately responsible for me being in Baltimore. If not for Emergency! the profession would likely not have been on my radar, and my life would have taken some other path.
I told Page that I had a growing interest in writing and was curious about how to mesh that with my background in EMS. He encouraged me to consider writing for JEMS magazine.
I ended up writing for JEMS for about eight years. Mike Curtis went to medical school and is now an emergency physician back in Milwaukee.
On September 4, 2004, Page was at his Southern California home swimming laps in his pool when he suffered a heart attack and died. He was 68 years old.