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In a Heartbeat

From countless shows to rockin' concerts, the Disney Channel has kept us all entertained with quality programming and innovative ideas every season. This past year, the Disney Channel did it again with their original series In a Heartbeat. Inspired by real-life volunteer EMT squads, the show centers around the lives of four teens who attend school during the day and go on emergency calls at night. "It's been a lot of fun," says Danso Gordon (who plays Hank Beecham). "We've had the whole season to develop our characters and each episode teaches us something new."

As if high school wasn't hard enough, squad leader, Hank, along with heartthrob Tyler Connell (Shawn Ashmore), cheerleader Val Lanier (Reagan Pasternak) and rebel Jamie Waite (Christopher Ralph) have given up their spare time for the sake of helping others. Watching the show, the cast seems at home with the high-tech equipment they use on their patients, but it's not as easy as it looks. "We had to prepare for our roles; getting to know the equipment and the terms we would be using as EMTs. We had to taken an EMT 101 crash course," says Shawn. "I also went on a ride-along with a real EMT paramedic unit. It was pretty amazing. I saw everything from a lady having a heart attack to a fist fight. Plus, we have a consultant on the show that helps us prepare for our scenes. You learn a lot. Some of the calls are real, some of them are fake, and I think our show really depicts what a real EMT squad deals with every day."

There's action, romance and a test of friendship between popular Val and gothic girl Catie Roth (Jackie Rosenbaum). "We have our problems," says Jackie. "We argue a lot because we are so different. I'm into my friends and Val's into hers. And there's competition between us, but we always seem to get past it. We're always struggling to look beyond appearance, and that isn't as easy as it seems."

Behind the scenes, the cast jokes around on a regular basis. "We've all become such good friends," says Reagan. "We'll go out together when there's time, and our friendship makes it easier for us to work together on set." Perhaps that's one of the things that sets this show apart from others -- a bond that grows stronger between the cast and crew on and off the set. "We really are one big family," Reagan continues. "I love coming to work, and I love working with these guys."

As In a Heartbeat gears up for a brand new season, we can't help but wonder what adventures are headed their way -- especially since they left off with Jamie uncertain of his return. What will happen? "You'll just have to watch," exclaims Chris. "I can't give out any of Jamie's secrets." That's OK -- we'll be tuned in to see these teen hotties race into action and witness the drama unfold for ourselves.

Blast! / Transcript by Pam