Emergency NYC Season 1 Review – An insightful look at the lives of US first responders

Season 1

Episode Guide

You’re Not Alone
Ready or Not
Under Pressure
Walking to America
No Guts No Glory
Home Sweet Home
Change of Heart


Emergency NYC is an eye-opening, pulsating and nail-biting reality series, following the lives of first responders in the NYC area. With nearly 300 calls received every hour (which we learn is about 2.7 million calls per year!) these guys and gals are the real heroes living among us, doing everything they can to save lives.

Split across 8 episodes, each clocking in at around 35 minutes or so (when you take out the 5 minutes of credits at the end!) this is an easy show to watch and those in the UK will immediately draw parallels to 24 Hours In A&E. The styling and format of Emergency NYC is far more quick-paced than that show though, but the intent is largely the same.

Using fly on the wall cameras and cut-away talking head interviews, each episode focuses on 3 or 4 different patients and their issues, while interweaving in personal details about the nurses and doctors that work there, their lives and what they’ve been up to.

In episode 2, we get a baby shower with Nurse MacKenzie, while episode 6 offers up a pretty eye-opening account of a nurse who refused the COVID vaccine and what impact that’s had on her line of work.

Understandably, COVID is a big theme running right the way through this season, discussing the implications of the lockdowns, including some individuals who have been cooped up inside and with long-term health issues that have subsequently grown worse over time thanks to being away from the hospitals.

There are also recurring nurses and doctors whom we follow across the season, including Dr Langer, nurse Vicky, Dr Macri and Nurse Darby. There are others though, and by the end you get a good sense of where these men and women’s values lie and just how hard they work.

Personally, it would have been nice to hear more about how the doctors and nurses feel about the healthcare system in America itself. Given the US has no universal healthcare, and a large proportion of its population don’t carry health insurance, seeing this discussed would have helped flesh out the documentary a bit more.

Despite that though, Emergency NYC is well worth a watch. The 8 episodes are chock full of drama, crazy moments and nail-biting tension. If you ever wanted to see how a US hospital operates, and in particular the lives of the first responders, this Netflix series is well worth a watch.

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  • Verdict - 8/10

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