Rescue 471: A Paramedic's Stories

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TRUE LIFE-AND-DEATH DRAMA

In taut, thrilling prose, Peter Canning has written a book that captures the rarely seen real world of emergency medicine. A seasoned paramedic who fights under enormous pressure to save lives, Canning trains new paramedics for the rigors of a nonstop, action-packed battle. From a four-month-old baby who has stopped breathing to a sixty-seven-year-old woman with a strange abdominal mass that threatens to explode--these are gripping true stories from the "ER on the streets." An exciting, often moving account, Canning tells a powerful story of camaraderie, selflessness, and courage as paramedics try to stand tall and human through both defeat and victory.
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About the author

Peter Canning is a full-time paramedic in Hartford, Connecticut. A former speechwriter to Governor Lowell Weicker of Connecticut and top health aide whose duties included overseeing the emergency medical services system, Canning left his desk job in 1991 to become a paramedic on the city streets, a story chronicled in his first book--Paramedic: On the Front Lines of Medicine. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Ballantine Books
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Published on
Mar 23, 2011
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780307788214
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Medical (incl. Patients)
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Medical / Emergency Medicine
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The basis for the movie starring Kathy Bates, Ambulance Girl is an inspiring story by a woman who found, somewhat late in life, that “in helping others I learned to help myself.”

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Each call Stern describes is a vignette of human nature, often with a life in the balance. From an AIDS hospice to town drunks, yuppie wife beaters to psychopaths, Jane comes to see the true nature and underlying mysteries of a town she had called home for twenty years. Throughout the book we follow her as she gets her sea legs, bonds with the firefighters who become her colleagues, and eventually, comes to be known as Ambulance Girl.
A former paramedic’s visceral, poignant, and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta’s mean streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe.

In the aftermath of 9/11 Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life—his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age twenty-six, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm—one of blood, violence, and amazing grace.

Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people’s facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things. There is no pretense five beats into a chest compression, or in an alley next to a crack den, or on a dimly lit highway where cars have collided. Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each—as he termed them—as “a tourist,” “true believer,” or “killer.”

Combining indelible scenes that remind us of life’s fragile beauty with laugh-out-loud moments that keep us smiling through the worst, A Thousand Naked Strangers is an absorbing read about one man’s journey of self-discovery—a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.
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Through authentic accounts, every facet of emergency care is on display-from the first 911 call to patient discharge or death, including an exclusive look at what is perhaps the biggest decontamination operation ever conducted, which crews performed for victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

A hybrid profession that blends public safety and public health, EMS attracts careerists and volunteers from all sectors of society-from Boy Scouts and housewives to Fortune 500 vice presidents and work-fare recipients. The men and women that make up the Newark EMS graveyard shift, one of the busiest, full-time teams in the nation, are quintessential EMS workers: intense, irreverent, hard-working action junkies who crave autonomy and the instant gratification of solving critical problems in real time. This unflinching profile hones in on award-winning EMS workers as well as those who pollute the industry, ironically, sometimes one and the same.

Into the Breach offers an unusual opportunity to bear witness to unimaginable suffering, heroic stoicism, and the inventiveness of American EMS workers fighting to save lives.

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