Pop Culture

David Lee Roth goes from No. 1 to 911

Rocker David Lee Roth, the former Van Halen frontman, is taking up a new trade.

Instead of screaming “Jump,” he’ll be yelling “Clear!”

Roth, 50, has been riding for several weeks with a New York ambulance crew in training to become a paramedic, The New York Post reported Tuesday.

“I have been on over 200 individual rides now,” said Roth. “Not once has anyone recognized me, which is perfect for me.”

The singer, who spent a decade with Van Halen before embarking on a solo career, except a collaboration with the band for two new songs on a greatest hits album, has been riding along with crews in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn several nights a week.

His training seems to be going well.

Several weeks ago, Roth saved the life of a heart attack victim in the Bronx by using a defibrillator.

He takes his work so seriously that he did not want publicity so that it would not “diminish what I am trying to do here.” He has said that he did not want the neighborhoods he was working in named so that he would not draw attention to himself or co-workers.

“You would never know you were dealing with a rock-’n’-roll guy,” said Linda Reissman, Roth’s EMS consultant and tutor. “His commitment really is touching. He wants to help people.”

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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