July 1998 - Courtesy of Hannah Shearer & Jean Cinader
Robert A. Cinader was the creator and Executive Producer of Emergency! . The show, perhaps even nationwide Paramedic Programs, would not have existed without him.
Universal Studios asked Bob to come up with an international rescue show, but he discovered something better, something closer to home: a pilot "paramedic" program, originated in Northern Ireland and mandated by the California State Legislature for a probationary period in L.A. County. Bob created a show around the program, his theory being you could educate people if they didn't realize you were doing it. What he created was a phenomenon which helped create paramedic programs all over the country.
Robert A. Cinader, also fondly known as RAC, was born on November 10, 1924. He was raised in New York City, where he attended prestigious Townsend Harris, and experimental prep school open only to those public school students with extremely high IQ's. He enrolled at New York University for a semester before being called to duty with the Army as a logistics expert. He always said that the war changed his view of life: he was aware of the planned invasion of Japan, and was certain he would die on the beaches of Japan before his 21st birthday. When Japan surrendered before America invaded, Bob felt the rest of his life was a gift.
After his service, he returned to NYU and entered a pre-law/liberal arts curriculum, majoring in English literature. Attending school the year round, he completed a four-year course in two years. He took the entrance exams for law school and passed them in the top two percent of his class. On his first day at NYU Law, he turned around, marched from the room, certain this was not for him. He turned to the creative field instead.
Encouraged by a college professor to try his hand at writing, Bob did some freelance work, and then took a position in the research division of Holiday Magazine. Shortly thereafter, he departed Holiday for the publications division of the United Nations, where he quickly advanced to department head. During this time, he met his wife, actress Jean Aubuchon.
When Bob left the U.N., he had his first exposure to the world of television and broadcasting, joining Ross Reports, an informational service to the broadcasting industry, as an editor. A year later, he joined the William Morris Agency in New York in the area of television packaging. Ultimately he handled all the company's foreign operations and syndicated sales, accomplishing a phenomenal feat -- he sold $5,000,000 worth of product in one month, the equivalent today of approximately $30,000,000.
In 1956, he joined California National Productions (CNP), a subsidiary of the National Broadcasting Company, in New York. One of his projects was distribution of Badge 714, the syndicated title for the original Dragnet series. Appointed to the post of Vice-President, Programming at CNP, Bob and Jean moved to California, where he created The Silent Service -- a submarine series which initiated outstanding new close-up techniques. The show was a tremendous monetary success. Following this he created two new series, Union Pacific and Boots and Saddles, with Gardner McKay.
After his tenure at CNP, Bob went to work for the Hal Roach Studios, putting together television packages. In 1962, he was appointed Vice-President and General Manager of the "Red Skelton Studios", and remained there until that studio was sold to CBS, when he moved to Warner Bros. as a story consultant. Bob joined Mark VII Ltd. at Universal as producer of Dragnet 1968. He became deeply involved with the Los Angeles Police Department, working on story ideas in connection with the show. While working on Dragnet, Bob conceived a show about two uniformed police officers, something that hadn't been done before. Thus, Adam-12 was born. It was the first vignette show on television, a form that became very popular with most police shows in the last 30 years.
In 1971, Bob became immersed in his research on the paramedic program. From that passion, which lasted the rest of his life, Emergency! was created. The show was an immediate success, and continued to be watched by large audiences until the day it left the air in 1978. From the first half-season in 1971, to the last season of the six two-hour specials in 1978, Bob's genius guided the writers, actors, and production crew.
The show itself brought attention and acclaim to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. More important, it showed the general audience and public officials across the country that lives could be saved by local paramedic programs. Emergency Medical Services organizations from all over the country have acknowledged and honored Bob for making significant contributions to improving emergency medical services across the country.
During his leadership, Bob became intimately involved in the County paramedic program. His involvement and commitment was so intense, and his study of emergency services so thorough, that he became an expert in the field. He eventually used his expertise to formally advise City Government with his appointment to the County Emergency Medical Services Commission.
In recognition of his extraordinary public service, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pay special tribute to Bob by naming fire station 127 in Carson, the home station of Emergency!, as the Robert A. Cinader Memorial Fire Station. Several years later the County Fire Station situated on the Universal Studios Lot was christened Station 51.
The television show Emergency! produced a group of about 100 people who evolved into a family. Those who worked with Bob Cinader will never forget the privilege.
Robert A. Cinader died on November 16, 1982, after a battle with cancer. He left his wife of 31 years, Jean, and hundreds more friends who loved, respected and admired him.
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