Friday, February 11, 2011

Ronald Reagan and EMS

 This past week the media has focused attention on our late President Ronald Reagan. Journalists have spoken about his time as the Governor of California. They've spoken about his tenure as President. Much has been said of Reaganomics. and even a little about Nancy Reagan's 'Just Say No' campaign. Quite a lot has been noted on President Obama's take on Reagan. There's one aspect of his life that has been ignored...

Ronald Reagan was Governor during the seventies, a crucial time in Emergency Medical Services. In the late 60's, Dr. Graf working out of Daniel Freeman Hospital and Dr J. Micheal Criley & James Lewis working out of Harbor General Hospital, started working on an advanced life support program, in cooperation with James O. Page. Keenth Hahn was contacted, who in turn contacted California congressmen James Wedworth and Larry Townsend. Legislation was drafted, and made it through to the Governor's office.

It stalled until an incident helped get it signed in to law. The unofficial story has Ronald Reagan's father passing away. The ambulance service wasn't able to help revive Mr. Reagan. That event changed Ronald Reagan's mind. He signed the bill into law on 7-14-70, making Paramedics legally work able as ALS providers.

The show 'Energency!' highlighted the story of Wedworth-Townsend legislature, prompting many men and women to choose EMS as a career.

How do I know this information? I was first certified as an EMT in 1978. My husband received his medic certification in 1982, known back then as MICU-Paramedic.

So, tip your hats to our late President Ronald Reagan. If it wasn't for him, EMS would be a lot younger than it is now.

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