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James O. Page papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Separated Material

  • Title: James O. Page papers
    Collection number: 461
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 40.2 linear ft. (93 document boxes and 3 record carton boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1970-1995
    Date (inclusive): 1949-2004
    Abstract: This collection gathers the papers of James O. Page, the "father of modern EMS" which span nearly a half century of active service in the fire and Emergency Medical Services fields. The material is separated into two main bodies: Page’s personal papers and library, organized by his standards and according to a system of his devising, and the papers and library compiled and organized concurrently with his directorship of the Advance Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation. The material spans the length of Page’s career, from the 1950s to his death in 2004, and collectively forms a detailed picture of the development of the field of emergency medical services, through the efforts and research of one of its most influential proponents.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the History & Special Collections for the Sciences (UCLA Library Special Collections) public services desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the History & Special Collections for the Sciences (UCLA Library Special Collections) public services desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], James O. Page papers (Manuscript collection 461). History & Special Collections for the Sciences, UCLA Library Special Collections.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7536303 

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Jane Page, 2007.

    Processing Information

    Portions of this collection were processed by Christopher Anderson, in consultation with curator Russell Johnson, prior to 2014; this activity was made possible with funding from the James O. Page Foundation. Processing was completed by Lori Dedeyan in 2014 in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Jillian Cuellar.
    The processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia  funds.


    James Page was born on August 7, 1936 in Monterey Park, California, where he first worked as a firefighter before joining the Los Angeles County Fire Department in 1959. His first assignment for the county was at Fire Station 11 in Altadena, where he worked as an Engineer (today called a Fire Fighter Specialist) until testing for and being promoted to the position of Fire Captain in the Agoura area. While working in this capacity, Page was also pursuing an undergraduate, and later, law degree, which he received from Southwestern Law School in 1970. He passed the California State Bar exam a year later. During this time, Page was transferred to Fire Station 7 in Hollywood and became principally involved in the implementation of the department’s countywide paramedic program. It was also during this time that Page’s station was visited by one of the producers of what would later become Emergency!, a television program based on the department’s paramedic rescue program. Page became the lead technical advisor for the program until 1973, occasionally contributing written material through Writer’s Guild sponsorships. The show’s success helped catalyze the incorporation of emergency medical service units as a standard feature of fire services. In 1972, Page was certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
    Page left California in 1973 to pursue projects in the Eastern US, becoming director of the North Carolina Office of Emergency Services, where for two years he implemented the state legislature’s plan for a statewide EMS system. In 1975, he became executive director of the federal grant-funded Lakes Area Emergency Medical Services project in upstate New York. In 1976 he became the executive director of the Advance Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation, a national non-profit health education organization; he continued in this position until 1983. In 1979, Page founded JEMS Communications, an enterprise that would encompass several newsletter and magazine publications, primarily the Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), for fire and emergency services personnel. The publication represented a labor of love for Page, who continued to devote his time and resources towards its maintenance and distribution until his retirement in 2001, when he was given the title of Publisher Emeritus. Also within the Communications umbrella was EMS Today, an annual series of national fire and EMS educational conferences which continues to this day, as does the publication itself.
    In 1981, Page became manager of the Technical Support Services Program of the U.S. Fire Administration (part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency), a national consulting and technical assistance program for fire and emergency service agencies. Returning to California in 1984, he served as the Battalion Fire Chief for the city of Carlsbad until 1986, when he transitioned to a position as Fire Chief for the city of Monterey Park. In 2000, he left this position to become a partner at Page, Wolfberg and Wirth, LLC, a national law firm specializing in emergency medical services reimbursement and regulatory issues. In that same year, he served as volunteer executive director of Project 51, a non-profit project in honor of the television series Emergency!, for which he had consulted in the seventies. This effort culminated in a national tour and the induction of artifacts from the show into the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
    In 1997, he became president of the board of directors for the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Association. The 1947 Ford "Rescue 11" truck he first drove as a firefighter in Altadena, which he restored personally, now resides in the Fire Museum. Page’s good humor is evidenced in a scrapbook chronicling his cross-country travels in the truck, which can be found in the collection.
    Throughout his career, Page provided his services as an attorney to members of the fire and emergency medical services. In addition to his work as an educator, he was a frequent speaker at conferences, symposia and other events; the collected materials from his lectures and talks in his papers attest to his incredibly busy schedule as a proponent of, and consultant for, EMS issues.
    Page died in Carlsbad, California on September 4, 2004.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains a variety of materials related to EMS and fire service paramedic programs. Page’s personal papers include correspondence, contracts, notes and manuscripts, and various publications. The material related to his speaking engagements, such as correspondence, notes, lecture materials, programs, financial agreements and other preparatory documentation, provides a precise chronological picture of his activities as a lecturer, educator, editor, and public advocate, and documents the development of EMS through the activities of its participating entities. Included in the libraries are documents generated at the local, state, and federal level, as well as by various regional and professional councils and public interest groups; legal, medical, and administrative literature; textbooks and training material; manuals; newsletters and journal articles. Also included is a collection of audiovisual materials, from commercial video tapes to live and broadcast recordings. The collection spans the second half of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on the era between 1970 and 1995.

    Organization and Arrangement

    James Page kept his libraries, personal papers and other ephemera in good working order. The arrangement of this collection closely adheres to the original arrangement of the materials, with file titles, order and content preserved. The contents of this collection are divided between Page’s personal work and the work produced during his directorship of the ACT Foundation.
    This collection has been arranged in the following series and subseries:
    • Series 1: James O. Page materials, 1949-2004
    • Subseries 1.1: Speeches, Lectures and Workshops, 1973-2003
    • Subseries 1.2: Desk files and personal papers, 1949-2004
    • Subseries 1.3: Personal library of EMS literature, 1971-1990
    • Series 2: ACT Foundation materials, 1960s-1996
    • Subseries 2.1: Speeches, Lectures and Projects, 1992-1996
    • Subseries 2.2: Photographs, 1976-1983
    • Subseries 2.3: ACT Foundation library of EMS literature, 1960s-1990
    • Series 3: Audiovisual Materials, 1971-2000

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Collection contains audiovisual material which must be digitized prior to use. Please contact the paging desk for more information.

    Separated Material

    Several books have been removed from the collection and cataloged separately. They can be searched in the UCLA Library Catalog by using the phrase “Gift of the estate of James O. Page."