The EMS Today Show: Interview with Frank Poliafico, RN

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Frank Poliafico has had a 50 year career in emergency medical care. He was an Emergency Department nurse and nurse manager, and a former County EMS Director in Pennsylvania.  He later served as Director of the EMS System for New York City, and then an internationally known emergency care educator and author.

He also is a professional magician, a privileged member of the famous “Magic Castle” in Los Angeles.

Now retired, and because he and other EMS colleagues are being asked to refrain from leaving their residence, he has decided to put his magic online to help people relax and enjoy a little magic.

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Ironically and historically, Frank crossed paths with A.J.’s father, Captain Arthur Heightman, who was the commanding officer of the Scranton Fire Dept. Ambulance Division, when Frank was working as an emergency nurse and educator at Scranton State Hospital. 

He later was contracted to teach in an 80-hour EMT program that was offered 40-hours a week for two week, to train all of the Scranton Fire Department Ambulance personnel. 

Then, in an amazing twist of fate, Frank ended up training A.J. to be an EMT while he was a student at Temple University. The rest is history.

Watch some of Frank’s magic here.


  • A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P, is editor emeritus of JEMS and an adjunct instructor of Clinical Research and Leadership with the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

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