Former United States Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona Joins Paramedic Documentary as
Co-Producer with “Emergency!” Stars Randy Mantooth and Kevin Tighe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 6, 2023
LOS ANGELES—Richard Carmona, MD, the nation’s 17 th Surgeon General and a former military medic,
has joined the team producing the documentary “Into the Unknown: The Paramedics’ Journey.” The
film, scheduled to debut this spring, will tell the real-life stories of today’s paramedic.
“Kevin and I are so pleased to have Dr. Carmona’s participation,” said Randy Mantooth. “His reputation
and rich range of experience is unmatched. Now we get to work side-by-side with this ardent and
articulate advocate for paramedics.”
Dream comes true for “Emergency!” stars
The ground-breaking and influential TV show “Emergency!” celebrated its 50 th anniversary last August in
Los Angeles. Mantooth, Kevin Tighe and others associated with the show were hosted by Steve Martin, a
retired Los Angeles County Assistant Fire Chief and a member of the documentary’s executive team.
One of the highlights of the night was an exclusive preview trailer for the documentary.
“The TV show was so successful in promoting the idea of paramedics because of its documentary style
of storytelling,” Mantooth told Martin. “This new documentary will tell the story of the modern
paramedic, including the stress and hardships of the job. Kevin and I have been talking about this for
decades. It’s a dream come true.”
Dr. Carmona’s storied career
Richard, the oldest son of emigrant parents, was born and raised in the Harlem section of New York City.
He dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army where he obtained his GED high school
diploma. He went on to become a combat decorated U. S. Army Special Forces medic.
After Vietnam he worked as a civilian medic, ER/critical care nurse, prehospital instructor and EMS
coordinator while attending college. He then went on to medical school where he graduated as the top
graduate, became a trauma surgeon and critical care physician, distinguished professor and EMS
“For more than 50 years Dr. Carmona has inspired EMS professionals,” said Dr. Baxter Larmon, founding
director of the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care and a member of the documentary’s executive team.
“He is a mentor to me—I’m humbled to have someone of his stature on our team.“
Telling the story of the modern paramedic
The new documentary is directed by award-winner Tom Putnam. Following a pandemic that strained
our healthcare system and revealed the critical role that paramedics play in caring for their
communities, it will realistically depict the lives and jobs of half a dozen paramedic crews around the
“As a fellow first responder for well over half a century, I am thrilled and honored to join the ITU team,”
said Dr. Carmona. “I look forward to helping advance our mission to tell the story of the essential role of
paramedics in our society.”
Filming of Into the Unknown is complete, with EMS agencies from throughout the U.S. represented:
● Baton Rouge, LA: East Baton Rouge Parish EMS
● Denver, CO: Denver Health Paramedics
● Crozet VA: Western Albemarie Rescue Squad
● Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara County Fire Department
● Sparks, NV: City of Sparks Fire Department
● Medford, OR: Chiron Ranch, Front Line Resilience
In addition to Martin and Dr. Larmon, the executive team includes producer Tonya Mantooth, sister to
Randy Mantooth and a ten-time Regional Emmy award winner. FirstNet®, Built with AT&T*, is the
principal sponsor of the project. Additional sponsors supporting the documentary’s production include
Masimo, ZOLL Medical Corporation and Public Safety Group.
Find out more about the documentary, the advisory committee and the organizations supporting it at
intotheunknowndoc.com. You can also sign up to get regular updates on the progress of the
documentary and “behind-the-scenes” stories and footage.
*©2023 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks of the First Responder
Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
About the “Into the Unknown” Production Company
ITU Doc LLC is dedicated to telling the stories of today’s paramedics through documentary film. It has an
advisory board made up of 17 key industry leaders and has been endorsed by 19 major national EMS
organizations, representing almost 2 million members nationwide. Learn more about the project at
Tonya Mantooth, Producer