Rescue 911 is an informational reality-based television series, hosted by William Shatner. Originally intended to be only a set of three TV specials, Rescue 911 was picked up by CBS for the 1989 fall season after two specials aired on April 18, 1989 and May 9, 1989. Rescue 911 began airing as a regular series on September 5, 1989 and ran for 7 seasons, with the last new episode airing on August 27, 1996. The last episode to air on CBS (a repeat) aired on September 3, 1996.
Though never intended as a teaching tool, various viewers used the knowledge they obtained watching Rescue 911. Two specials, titled “100 Lives Saved” and “200 Lives Saved,” were dedicated to these viewers who had written to CBS with their stories on how the knowledge they obtained watching Rescue 911 allowed them to save the life of someone else. At least 350 lives have been saved as a result of what viewers learned from watching Rescue 911. The show’s popularity coincided with the widespread adoption of the 911 emergency system, replacing standalone police and fire numbers which would vary from municipality to municipality. The number is now universally understood in the United States and Canada to be the number dialed for emergency assistance nationwide.3 Comments