We designed and implemented a program to train respiratory therapy personnel to perform emergency endotracheal intubation in a community hospital. During a one-year study period, 143 emergency intubations were attempted by physicians, nurse anesthetists, and respiratory therapy personnel. Respiratory therapy personnel attempted 74 intubations, with 13 complications, for a complication rate per attempt of 18%. Physicians and nurse anesthetists attempted 69 intubations, with 39 complications, for a complication rate of 57%. We conclude that trained respiratory care personnel can safely and effectively secure an airway via endotracheal intubation under emergency circumstances in our institution.