Bringing Out the Dead

Frank (Nicolas Cage) is a paramedic who's about to take us on a tour de force that is his job as an EMS paramedic. Frank works the graveyard shift and in much need of a break. Going from here to there in the city streets, he keeps seeing the ghosts of the people he couldn't save. Joining him on this journey are Larry (John Goodman), religious Marcus (Ving Rhames) and hot headed maniac Tom (Tom Sizemore). Frank meets Mary Burke (Patricia Arquette), whose father has recently suffered heart trouble.

Griss

Factual error: When Cy Coates is impaled on the terrace guardrail, we see a shot of various emergency vehicles in front of the building, including FDNY Rescue Company 4. Rescue 4 is the rescue company for the borough of Queens; the movie takes place in Manhattan, so Rescue 1 would have been the unit that responded.

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Frank Pierce: I realised that my training was useful in less than ten percent of the calls, and saving lives was rarer than that. After a while, I grew to understand that my role was less about saving lives than about bearing witness. I was a grief mop. It was enough that I simply turned up.

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Trivia: In the beginning scene where the crew responds to a cardiac arrest, they defibrillate (shock) the patient three times in under fifteen seconds. When the monitor appears on the screen his rhythm appears to be asystole, which the current (2015) guidelines state should not be shocked. The 2015 AHA guidelines also call for two minutes of compressions between shocks. One might think the writers made a mistake; however, the recommendation not to shock asystole only appeared as recently as 1992. The medics in Bringing Out the Dead would have learned to give three shocks in rapid succession and likely would have shocked asystole as a precaution because it can be hard to distinguish from fine ventricular fibrillation. The film is actually medically accurate considering it is set in the early 90s. (00:04:35)

Anthony Petrillo
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