January 15th, 1972, EMERGENCY! became a midseason replacement that aired on NBC. The show focused on Los Angeles County Paramedics, Johnny Cage and Roy DeSoto and their trials and tribulations in the new field of fire-based EMS. The impact of EMERGENCY! on the Fire Service cannot be overstated. It inspired fire departments around the country to expand EMS programs. Center Point Fire District began one of the first fire-based EMS systems in Alabama.
One of the people who was inspired by EMERGENCY! was Bob VanHooser. At 18 years old and already a paid firefighter, he began his journey to become a Paramedic for the Center Point Fire District. In December of 1976, he became a fully certified paramedic. He has dedicated his career to making the Fire Service better. In 2003, Bob VanHooser was promoted to the position of Chief of Training and EMS. He was the first full-time EMS officer for the district. Battalion Chief Bob VanHooser focused on providing the best service available to the residents and staying on the cutting edge of prehospital emergency medicine.
Today, Battalion Chief Wes Ward has continued and expanded on these principles. Under Chief Ward's tutelage, Center Point Fire District has one of America's best cardiac arrest resuscitation rates. In conjunction with our medical director, William Ferguson MD, our paramedics provide the best service available. With an evidence-based approach to paramedicine, Center Point Fire District will continue to make an impact that will not only be felt in Alabama but throughout the nation.