The hunky paramedic with the funky name is going to Washington! Seventies icon Randolph Mantooth and the gang from the cult series Emergency! will be at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in the nation's capital Tuesday when a truckload of series clips and memorabilia go on display following a big-time induction ceremony.
"We're giving them the coats we wore and the biofoam ? all the things we used," Mantooth tells TV Guide Online. "This is for the public-service section, not entertainment."
The actor is quite proud of the positive impact Emergency! has had on American society. "I'm not saying that I can take any credit for that. I was just a kid getting up and going to work and complaining mostly about how early I was getting up," he says with a laugh. "The credit really goes to Robert A. Cinader, our executive producer and the man who created the show. It was his idea, his vision. He knew the [paramedic] program existed but nobody was certified because they didn't believe it really worked. [People] felt that you needed a doctor and a nurse ? but everything changed once they implemented the program and the rest is, as they say, history. Now we have ER on TV, but there's a whole generation of kids who don't know that there was a time when we didn't have paramedics!"
Mantooth, recognized by viewers of all ages for his portrayal of John Gage thanks to TV Land's reruns of the series, adds, "I just feel so proud that we were part of something that actually made history and that they actually talk about it in history books. Not very often does a young actor have the opportunity to fall into a vat of good luck like that."