My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 304
Publisher - Quercus
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
A memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life as a paramedic.
A young man has stopped breathing in a supermarket toilet. A pedestrian with a nasty head injury won't let the crew near him on a busy road. A newborn baby is worryingly silent. An addict urinates on the ambulance floor when denied a fix. This is the life of an ambulance paramedic.
Jake Jones has worked in the UK ambulance service for ten years: every day, he sees a dozen of the scenes we hope to see only once in a lifetime. Can You Hear Me? - the first thing he says when he arrives on the scene - is a memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life on the front-lines of medicine in the UK.
As well as a look into dozens of extraordinary scenes - the hoarder who won't move his collection to let his ailing father leave the house, the blood-soaked man who tries to escape from the ambulance, the life saved by a lucky crew who had been called to see someone else entirely - Can You Hear Me? is an honest examination of the strains and challenges of one of the most demanding and important jobs anyone can do.
I feel I should open with a huge THANK YOU to everyone who puts on the paramedic uniform. The book gives us a brief glimpse into the working life of the heros in green. Jones takes us through some of the things he has seen in his career over a decade, the characters he has met along the way and his relationship with his co workers.
I think every person in the UK should be reading this book, the abuse of this amazing service is utterly appalling. From Physical abuse, verbal abuse to the misuse of the system, the manipulation - some folk will be utterly horrified at the behaviour of some of our fellow humans. It also highlights the amazing work and some of the horrors these guys see day in and day out.
Not that long ago we saw bampots leaving notes on ambulances because their driveway or car was being blocked. Reading this book may make them rethink their behaviour and appreciate the (often) life saving work/treatment they are doing. But for the grace of God go I, any moment it could be us in need, our heart stopped beating or that of someone we love *touch wood* these heros need/deserve much more appreciation - actually even just respect (how bad is it this needs to be said!). Ha sorry I have went off on a rant whoops.
The book covers some heart stopping (literally) moments, some touching, some ridiculous and some that will stay with the reader long after the last page. I think stories like these are so important, especially now, people can be so self involved. This reminds us how precious life can be, how things can change on a dime and you never know what is around the corner, be kind and look after yourself, we cannot pour from an empty cup, 4/5 for me. I have bought quite a few true life healthcare type stories, hopefully get to them sooner rather than later.
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