Los Angeles County Fire Museum


The County of Los Angeles Fire Museum honored these four doctors, the founding fathers of paramedic programs, on May 8th, 2010 with the Pioneers of Paramedicine Life Time Achievement Award for their courage, independence, and spirit of innovation. They had an idea that at that time was not welcomed by those in the medical community. Their persistence and courage in developing their emergency programs have saved thousands of lives and brought the modern emergency medical services up to what we know today. We continue our respect and honor for the doctors and present them to you.

Eugene Nagel M.D
Miami, Florida

Dr. Eugene Nagel, M.D.Dr. Eugene Nagel is a pioneer in the field of Emergency Medical Services. He was Medical Director for the City of Miami Fire Department's rescue operation from 1964 until he left Miami in 1974. During those 10 years, he developed the first paramedic program utilizing telemetry and voice medical control rather than the then practice of riding either a physician or nurse with the paramedics.

Leonard Cobb M.D.
Seattle, Washington

Dr. Leonard Cobb, M.D.

Dr. Leonard Cobb became the director of cardiology at Harborview Medical Center in 1963 and a professor of medicine in 1971. At that time he also worked in collaboration with then-Seattle Fire Chief Gordon Vickery and others to establish the first paramedic-staffed mobile intensive care unit (known as Medic One) in Seattle.



John Michael Criley M.D.
Los Angeles, California

Dr. John Michael Criley, M.D.
Dr. Criley was Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and served as Chief for 20 years. He founded the Los Angeles County Paramedic Program in 1969, and the Los Angeles County Paramedic Training Institute is named in his honor. He has been on the full time faculty at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center for 42 years and is Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Radiological Sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine.


Walter Graf M.D.
Los Angeles, California

Dr. Walter Graf, M.D.Dr. Walter Graf, cardiologist at Daniel Freeman Hospital, was a strong proponent of a mobile care unit for Los Angeles. With grant funds provided by the local chapter of the American Heart Association, he launched a Mobile Coronary Care Unit based on the Pantridge model in 1969 - a fully equipped vehicle staffed by nurses who were empowered to start intravenous infusions, administer drugs, and defibrillate. Dr. Graf passed away at the age of 98 on October 18th, 2015.


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