In San Diego, 911 calls enter a GPS-equipped system that can immediately mobilize any of the city's 125 fire engines, ambulances, rescue boats and helicopters. And because rescue vehicles carry Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and PDAs, medics documenting patient vitals and any procedures administered beam the data straight to the hospital, where doctors seamlessly pick up the case. At many local hospitals, patient charts, including data from heart-rate and oxygen monitors, are also electronic. The newscast of Ludwig's rescue showed a brave paramedic lowered from a helicopter to whisk him away. But behind the scenes, a carefully orchestrated system of protocols and technologies--and people aided by them--were the unseen heroes.