Historical Timeline

header-title-decorationHistorical Timeline

Historical Timeline 1966


  • National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council publishes a report titled Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society , which recommends the use of pilot programs to determine the efficacy of providing physician-staffed ambulances for care.
  • Highway Safety Act of 1966 establishes national standards for inspections of used emergency services vehicles.
  • National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 specifies ambulance design and construction.


  • Dr. Frank Pantridge from Belfast, Ireland publishes the first study defining a Mobile Coronary Care Unit.
Historical Timeline 1969


  • Dr. Walter Graf begins a Mobile Coronary Care Unit program at Daniel Freeman Hospital in Inglewood-Centinela. The “Heart Car,” donated by McCormick Ambulance and equipped with a cardiac monitor, defibrillator and radio communication equipment begins service.
  • Board of Supervisors meet with community leaders and decide to train fire department personnel as paramedics.
Historical Timeline 1969

September 12, 1969

  • The first paramedic class begins training at Harbor General Hospital under Dr. J. Michael Criley and Critical Care Unit nurse Carol Bebout).
Historical Timeline 1969

December 8, 1969

  • The first LA County Fire rescue unit, Squad 59, officially goes into service. It is based on the grounds of Harbor General Hospital and is manned by two newly trained paramedics on each shift.
  • Work begins on a state bill to allow paramedics to provide advanced medical life support without the direct supervision of a nurse or physician. It is introduced to both houses of the State by Senator James Wedworth and Assemblyman Larry Townsend.
Historical Timeline 1970

July 14, 1970

  • The Wedworth-Townsend Paramedic Act is signed into law by Governor Ronald Reagan. California becomes the first state to adopt legislation permitting paramedics to provide advanced medical life support.
Historical Timeline 1970

September 1970

  • The first paramedics graduate from the Paramedic Training Institute.
Historical Timeline 1971

May 11, 1971

  • TV producer Robert Cinader becomes interested in developing new series regarding rescue for NBC and visits Los Angeles County Fire Station 7 and Station 36.
Historical Timeline 1972

January 1972

  • The TV series “Emergency!” is first televised. The series raises public awareness of the paramedic program throughout the country.


  • The Emergency Medical Services Systems Act of 1973 is signed into law, establishing federal grant funding for EMS systems.


  • Dr. Ronald Stewart, an emergency medicine physician, is placed in charge of the Paramedic Training Institute. He modifies the paramedic curriculum and writes the first paramedic training manual.

Late 1970s

  • Continuing education programs are put into place. Paramedics are now required to recertify through written and skills examinations.

Late 1979

  • The EMS Commission is established by County Ordinance
  • The Board of Supervisors adopts the Advanced Life Support (ALS) Unit Staffing Policy, which requires two licensed paramedics to staff any ALS Unit.
County seal

November 1980

  • The Emergency Medical Service and Emergency Medical Care Personnel Act is signed into law, mandating state responsibility for emergency medical services by designation of a local EMS Agency.
  • The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor authorizes the Health Services to fill the role of EMS Agency and becomes responsible for the overall coordination of emergency services in LA County.

December 15, 1983

  • The first eight Level 1 trauma hospitals are designated and activated by the Board of Supervisors.

Late 1983

  • The US Supreme Court rules that local governments granting monopolies would not be exempt from antitrust laws unless policies were clearly articulated.


  • The EMS Act is amended to allow local EMS Agencies to create exclusive operating areas for private EMS providers such as ambulance companies.


  • Hospitals with the capability of handling specialized needs of children are designated as Emergency Departments Approved for Pediatric Critical Care Centers

Late 1980s

  • Testing and certification of paramedics is transferred from the local counties to the state.

July 1994

  • By statute, paramedic certification is changed to licensure and testing is eliminated from the relicensure process.


  • The Paramedic Training Institute becomes affiliated with EL Camino Community College District.

March 1997

  • The EMS Agency designated the first 5 Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Centers.

September 1997

  • Standing Field Treatment Protocols (SFTPs) were approved by the EMS Agency for implementation for Los Angeles Fire Department. SFTPs allowed paramedics to provide emergency life-saving treatment without contacting a paramedic base hospital.

February 2002

  • The EMS Agency received the first year of federal grant funding to prepare hospitals to respond to disasters under the Hospital Preparedness Program.

August 2003

  • Subsequent to the implementation of pediatric specific Title 22 trauma center requirements, the EMS Agency designated the first 5 Pediatric Medical Critical Care Centers.

June 2004

  • The EMS Agency, under the Hospital Preparedness Program designates 11 hospitals as Disaster Resource Centers to coordinate disaster planning and preparedness activities in their geographical areas. The DRC program becomes the foundation of emergency preparedness activities for the healthcare community.

December 1, 2006

  • The first three STEMI Receiving Centers (SRCs) are designated by the EMS Agency

June 2007

  • Purchased Mobile Medical System comprised of a 10 bed emergency department tractor/trailer and support vehicle and an 100 bed tent facility.

April 2009

  • The first 10 Approved Stroke Centers were designated by the EMS Agency.

February 2012

  • The EMS Agency implemented regionalized system of care to cardiac arrest patients who sustain a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Patients with ROSC were transported to the STEMI receiving centers for possible hypothermia or percutaneous coronary intervention.

June 7, 2012

  • The EMS Agency partnered with the American Heart Association, local hospitals, EMS Provider Agencies and other Southern California EMS Agencies to sponsor the inaugural SideWalk CPR day.

December 2014

  • Designation of two Ebola Treatment Hospitals.

December 2017

  • Comprehensive Stroke System approved by the Board of Supervisors with the first 10 Comprehensive Stroke Centers designated


  • Implementation of two-tiered stroke system
  • Implementation of Provider Impression based Treatment Protocols



  • The Pandemic – Vaccination, PPE and therapeutic distribution


  • Implementation of i-gel