Boston EMS

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Boston EMS TV Poster Image
First-responder reality has violent images, kind stars.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Help, teamwork, and compassion are highlighted.


Positive Role Models & Representations

EMTs help the best they can; some victims are appreciative.


Violent car crashes, wrecks. Occasional bloody wounds, body bags. Mild hazing, suicide discussed. 9/11 images.



"Crap," bleeped curses.


Occasional references to McDonald's, local Boston haunts.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcohol/drug related emergencies; addiction (to heroin, for example) discussed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Boston EMS features lots of scenes of accident aftermaths, including wrecked cars and occasional body bags. There are some images of bloody wounds, and lots of people cry out in pain. On occasion, iffy words ("crap") are used, and the show contains lots bleeped cursing (usually uttered by the injured). Drugs, alcohol, and addiction are discussed. Throughout it all, messages about teamwork, helping people, and being kind are emphasized, but those viewers who are sensitive about watching accidents, injuries, and the wounded will probably need to tune out.

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What's the story?

BOSTON EMS is a reality series that follows a team of Boston-based first responders as they handle medical emergencies around the city. Lieutenant Carlos Grau supervises his team of emergency medical technicians, including Elaine Gallagher, Sean Alexander, Rachel Savicke, and rookie Jeremy Bersin, as they drive ambulances to respond to the scenes of accidents and medical emergencies to render immediate aid, make initial assessments, and take victims to the hospital. From helping folks with minor injuries to dealing with fatal accidents, the responders must stay focused and find the physical and mental strength to do their jobs.

Is it any good?

This engaging "ride-along" reality show highlights how EMS responders handle chaos by being compassionate and non-judgmental while remaining focused on rendering appropriate assistance. It also shows the various ways that the injured respond to their emergencies as a result of being in shock or pain or simply frustrated with the situations they find themselves in.

Although many of the responders are a pleasure to watch, much of the show's entertainment value also comes from the various accidents and injuries featured here, which range from the odd to the horrific. Some of the folks they deal with at the scene also make for some interesting moments. But despite all the kindness featured here, it's not for the faint of heart.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the kind of training members of the EMS require to do their jobs. Aside from the medical training, what else do they need to learn to be effective? What makes them different from doctors or nurses?

  • Do reality shows like this one accurately portray people whose job it is to help the public, such as police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical staff? Or do you think they behave differently in front of the cameras? What kinds of things can viewers learn from watching shows such as these?

TV details

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