Gutter Medicine: Twenty-Six Years as a Firefighter Paramedic

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2019 Memoir/Biography Award Winner – Independent Audiobook Awards:  My career as a firefighter/paramedic stretched from 1974 to 2000 when were inventing EMS as we went along. These are stories from those years on the street. That place I named so long ago, the other reality that exists just outside most people’s everyday lives. It is a place that seems to exist parallel to the normal workaday existence: yet it is only a car accident or cardiac away for any of us. It manifested itself in brushfires, house fires, shootings, stabbings, hangings, accidents with injuries, cardiacs, codes, drownings, and a thousand other emergencies.

The street was more than a physical place. It was a place filled with excitement, fear, tragedy, horror, sadness, despair, joy, and laughter. It was a place where routine decisions could have terrible consequences: I am going to the grocery store. Or, I will get the wiring fixed next month. Where people died or were maimed. Often, it was a terrible place. Or maybe it was reality. It was where all safeguards ended and our job began. There were thousands of cases, but these are the ones etched in my memory. The ones that will never go away.

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