Cutout Bin: Country Songs for Paramedics, Such As "Haul and Run"

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EMS Country Express You Respond to Everyone But Me: Songs for the EMT (ETI Emergency Training, 1981) Nearly every occupation has its token LP. There are records for doctors and nurses, lawyers and ministers, cabbies and card sharks. But as far as Cutout Bin knows, this is the only record made for that oft-overlooked occupation of Emergency Medical Technician. Before 1981, ambulance jockeys had their choice of music to listen to while racing to the scene of an accident. Disco. Funk. Rock and roll. Even country. But it was other people's music... EMTs had nothing they could call their own. Enter the staff at ETI Emergency Training in Westport, Conn. According to the liner notes, it was Executive Editor Steve Reinberg who first said, "What EMTs really need is their own country music." They soon came up with some great song titles. "They're Not Victims Till We Get There." "We Only Meet When Someone's Dying." "You Respond to Everyone But Me." Problem was, the folks at ETI were better at wrapping a sprain than carrying a tune. Two company execs took up the challenge of assembling a group of musicians to keep the dream alive. It was a tough job: "They searched high and low, often attending five country bars a night." The idea of a country-music bar in Connecticut sends a little shiver down this naturalized Texan's spine, but that's beside the point. Finally they were successful. The EMS Country Express was born: Ray Gantek on guitar, Jim Tutunjian on bass, Leigh Henry on drums and Dennis Pedersen on banjo. You Respond to Everyone But Me was released in 1981 and sold through emergency-industry magazines. COB would love to see one of those original ads! In the meantime, enjoy a few cuts from EMS Country Express.

"He Dropped On the Line"

: The stirring ballad of a victim straddling the line between two competing ambulance companies.

"Intravenous Confusion"

: A man thinks he's had poor medical treatment, only to find out otherwise.

"You Respond to Everyone But Me"

: A lament about a woman who would rather rescue people than her relationship.

"Haul And Run"

: The hectic life of an EMT. See Nick DiFonzo's Web site at www.bizarrerecords.com.

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