Rescue Heroes

 
First responders teach kids important safety skills.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The series intends to teach kids basic safety skills like dialing 911, battling hypothermia by warming the body's extremities, and sending distress signals. They also become familiar with the work of rescue teams in various emergency situations.

Positive messages

The show incorporates essential emergency skills in a way that kids will understand. Each episode wraps up with the characters speaking directly to the audience about the story's important messages, drawing kids' attention to how the characters' knowledge of these skills helped in an emergency. Other positive attributes are illustrated throughout the stories, including teamwork, responsibility, and respecting authority.

Positive role models

The heroes are excellent models of courage, teamwork, and selfless adherence to duty. Not all of the characters make good choices all the time, but they learn from their mistakes and change their behavior accordingly. The heroes represent both genders and diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Violence & scariness

People face perilous situations like house fires, avalanches, earthquakes, and cave-ins. Although the heroes always save the day, there are some tense moments for the victims, some of whom suffer injuries from the emergencies. While the content is never graphic, it doesn't shy away from tying emergency scenarios to realistic outcomes like unconsciousness, hypothermia, and the possibility of fatalities.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Originally the series was inspired by a merchandise line by Fisher Price and Mattel, although that's less of a concern now that those action figures aren't front and center on toy shelves.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rescue Heroes is an action cartoon that incorporates important safety skills such as dialing 911, extinguishing a fire, and warding off hypothermia. Adults and kids find themselves in life-threatening situations (volcanoes, sinking ships, forest fires) that might frighten younger or sensitive kids, but ultimately everyone escapes the danger thanks to the heroic efforts of the rescuers. The characters don't always make good choices, but they do learn that their actions can have serious consequences for themselves and for others, and the show's hallmark themes include teamwork, preparedness, and responsibility.

Parents say

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What's the story?

RESCUE HEROES is an animated series that depicts rescue personnel and the specialized tools they use in their response to emergencies. Originally airing from 1999 to 2002, the series centers on first responders Jake Justice (voiced by Martin Roach), Billy Blazes (Norm Spencer), Ariel Flyer (Deborah Odell), Wendy Waters (Lenore Zann), and trainee Rocky Canyon (Joseph Motiki), as well as a rotating cast of support personnel. No matter where in the world an emergency happens, the Rescue Heroes leap into action to save the victims and neutralize the threat, all the while demonstrating essential safety tips for the audience.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Rescue Heroes does a lot of things right, from casting true-to-life heroes like firefighters and police officers in place of superpower-charged men of steel to keeping the stories' content relatable to the kids who are watching. Each episode involves a different emergency situation of some kind, and whether it's a house fire or weather-related dangers, viewers will pick up useful tips for staying safe in similar scenarios themselves. Thanks to Billy Blazes and his team, kids see the value of knowing how to prevent an emergency and how to stay safe if they find themselves in one.

For a cartoon with such an emphasis on teaching, though, Rescue Heroes never comes across as preachy or overly instructional, which ensures that kids will give their full attention to the stories. What's more, the show's careful attention to the relationships among the characters allows kids to learn from their actions and subsequent consequences, which aren't always happy but do offer important social messages.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how to prepare for a variety of emergencies. What tools and supplies do you keep on hand in the event of a storm or a power outage? Does your family have a fire escape plan? Kids: Do you know how to call for help if there's an emergency at home?

  • Kids: Who are the rescuers in your town? Where are they located? How can you get in touch with them? What information should you share with them if you have to call 911?

  • What did the characters learn in this story? Whose actions had negative consequences? How could they have made better choices? What would you have done differently in their shoes?

TV details

Cast:Lenore Zann, Martin Roach, Norm Spencer
Networks:CBS, CW, Syndicated
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Superheroes, Great boy role models, Great girl role models
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:Streaming

This review of Rescue Heroes was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old January 25, 2013
age 3+
 

Awesome, fun, educational!

This is an awesome tv show!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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